• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05

Kiss the face of the life

Dearest Clementine,

It is months since I have written. Strung out weeks, days, hours of living through this wretched travel ban. I am stuck here in the castle, surrounded by the moat. Its earthy hollow is a rim, a brown trench dug around me.  The drawbridge is shut. No one goes in. No one goes out. I dream of seeing baby Sophia and you. All alone, I long to see anyone.
Around my neck is my silver necklace with the humming bird pendant. I have taken to wearing it everyday. Do you remember Albert gave it to me years ago? It was on one of our last trips. We were on the French Riviera staying in a villa belonging to an artist friend, perched in the scented hills of Grasse. Everything was orange, blue and green: the buildings, the sea and sky, the trees. One evening, on the terrace, Albert handed me a minuscule tissue paper package. He stroked my cheek and said “Darling when I kiss your face, it is of course the one I love, but I also kiss the face of the life I would like for everyone, both wise, beautiful and generous.”
Inside the delicate package, I found the humming bird dangling from a delicate argent chain. “Dear Albert” I cried out, ”What a perfect gift, the pendant, the fine-spun silver, did you know that these little creatures build their nests from spiders webs.”
Clementine, this necklace is a talisman, for it encourages me to dream of flight: to imagine I go anywhere, go everywhere, meet everyone I once knew and those I’ve never met.  Humming-birds are small but mighty. They travel 4,000 miles from Mexico to Alaska every year. Moving from colour to white.


Kiss the face of the life

Darling, sometimes I wonder if I hold the necklace tight, and make a prayer to the gods, the witches or whoever is listening, perhaps I could see Albert and fall in love again. The hummingbird is the most agile of birds. It is the only one of its species that can fly backwards. I wonder if it could take me into the future, but mainly I long to travel with this bird in reverse, fly on an iridescent return journey into my distant past.

Hugs to you my sweet niece and kiss baby Sophia, I hope she is spreading her wings,

All love

Aunt Dorothea