THIS MORNING I witnessed a death. I was driving home, out of town and into the country. As a novelist I naturally notice things and ahead of me on the road, moving slowly--very slowly--swivel-eyed and hesitating step-by-step, was a young chameleon. I took care to avoid him and drove up to my gate. Whilst I waited for the gardener to open the gate I looked back at the chameleon, still on its hazardous journey across the road. I thought, My heart's with you guy, but I don't think you'll make it. Immediately, a kombi hurtled down that stretch of road, its driver oblivious to the tiny creature; amazingly it missed the chameleon. But the car following quickly behind didn't and the creature was spun into the air and landed, inert, on the road. And then a truck rushed along and squashed it flat. And I was thinking, that's a life lesson right there, isn't it? One moment you're here; the next moment you're gone. For that chameleon, the struggle is over; for us the daily struggles go on: but also the joys, the triumphs and ephemeral achievements of what all of us call life.
c Kenneth Rowley 2015
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