Pure Magic

Some mornings are incredible. Some mornings you wake up to magic. And some mornings you get to capture that magic – or the small part of it that can be captured – on your camera! Which is also magic – of a man-made kind!

Yesterday was once such morning.

Spring is in the air. The sun is rising that little bit earlier each day. At 5.30 in the morning it is still dark in Nairobi. But not silent. For the birds awake. Loudly. They are tiny to the point of being mistaken for butterflies. They are huge to the point of being like dinosaurs! And they are all sizes and shapes in between. But one thing they all have in common is their incredibly loud voices. And their penchant for waking in the dark!

Now, I am not an early morning person. But these birds are relentless. Chirp, squeak, squwak, coeeee, urk! Wake up, wake up, wake up. Till I do wake up! And really, those birds have got the right idea. For if you listen to them – like I did, yesterday – you quickly learn that you are being invited for a very special show.

A warm cup of coffee and cookie in hand, I watched the sun begin to show its first tendrils of light. Low on the horizon the sky lightened. The trees that were mere blobs of dark on dark started showing silhouettes. And slowly, slowly the world went from grey and black to technic colour. Kodak Chrome!

Very gently the yellows appeared and the greens. And as I watched the roses turned red, peach, pink and white. The bougainvillaea turned magenta. The geraniums burst into scarlet glory. The petunias into regal purple and white. The gazanias and asters were still tightly closed. As were the lilies. It was too early for them – let us sleep awhile! And yet, the sun rays insisted on finding those small windows between the petals. A flash of red, orange, yellow, russet.

From the corner of my eye, I caught a slight movement. Purple. What? There was absolutely not a whisper of a breeze. I turned my head and stared. Nothing. It could not have been my imagination. There was no need for imagination – nature was playing out a glorious scene in reality. I went back to my coffee. A few minutes later, a second movement. Purple. This time I was quick enough to catch the fluttering of the iris buds. Strange. No bee or bird or breeze. And then as I watched intently, I saw it. I never believed till that moment that one can actually see magic. And yet I did. With a quick, sharp, shiver of its heart, the iris bloomed!

A mad dash for the iPhone! An hour of waiting. And finally two short videos. And in the meanwhile, an hour spent in the glorious wonder of a bouquet of iris blooming one at a time – as the sun touched them gently.