Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Cypress Ducayne
The end of my orange, where it was picked, looks like a mountain central to a surrounding valley. The sticker on it reads "South Africa Navel." I am connecting to the Dark Continent by my simple farmer's market purchase in Manheim, Pennsylvania.
My orange takes me to Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in all of Africa. It was once an active volcano. Hot lava would be brilliant like my orange. The devastation it must have wrought a million years ago! My own country is not even 300 years old. A million is incomprehensible to me, yet somewhere on Planet Earth a million billion years ago, there was sunshine and water and wind and life.
Planet Earth was a baby separated from other children of the universe by light-years. Millions of light-years-- that is another concept difficult for me to fathom. When I'm on a beach at night, looking out into the ocean's horizon, I might see a light. I know it's from a boat, but I can't see the boat. How long does that light take to reach my eyes? A mere second, at most.
Imagine-- there are galaxies and stars that are hundreds of thousands of light-years WIDE, never mind millions of light-years away from us. There is a pulsing light in the cosmos somewhere that will never reach my eyes. There isn't enough time.
I hope there is time for Kilimanjaro. I hope I get to see Africa and all the orange she keeps: the dark orange in an orangutan, or giraffe, or lion's mane; the orange hue in the land and the rocks; the orange in a rainbow over Victoria Falls or in the Serengeti Plains. What does the real Timbuktu look like?
For now, my orange from South Africa with the mountainous tip is a movie that's over. I'll peel this orange, remembering the volcano as the peel bends and microdrops of orange essence splash from it in a mist. I'll savor each slice, and each slice will be a connection to that continent of wonder.
Cypress Ducayne lives in south central Pennsylvania, and graduated from Harrisburg Area Community College with a Liberal Arts degree in Communications and the Arts. After two decades of life in the working world of Corporate America, she has begun writing from her heart again.
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