A Leap of Thought

Katharina Lankers
A Leap of Thought
A warm aroma of lemons surrounded her. Behind the panorama window, a thoroughly rested sun shone radiantly across rich green clearings and silvery mountain peaks: the perfect backdrop for this day! Paula stretched herself indulgently on her sauna lounge chair and snuggled herself deeper into her soft bathrobe. An entire day only for herself, to relax, doze, dream. No hiking, no mountain climbing, no conversations, a day just for her: glorious! She was wonderfully empty inside as though completely cleaned of everything except this one word in her head: “Glorious!” Soft as cotton this tiny thought spread out inside her; it bounced around here and there to reach every corner. Finally, it detached itself gently and slowly walked across Paula’s closed eyelids. It balanced briefly on her eyelashes, then it left her to her dreams and jumped off of the sauna lounge, right into a sport bag that the man beside Paula was packing up.
The zipper of the bag closed up over it and the tiny thought let itself be carried outside. Only as the bag was in the car, it crawled out. It mingled with the smell of the leather seats, tussled in the man’s moustache and found just the right spot at the very same moment as he was turning the key.
“How glorious!” thought the man as the motor of his sport car growled to life. As smooth as a large cat of prey, the car snaked down the hillside – an incredible feeling! Relaxed, the tiny thought danced a little in the man’s mind.
Having arrived in the mountain village below, the man stopped at the market place. The tiny thought climbed curiously up on the sunrays that fell across the car’s roof, sailing with a high curve over the square towards a café on the street where it landed silently in the thick foam of a cappuccino. Casually it circled a couple times around the steaming surface, then with great expectations gave itself up to the red lips that were approaching.
The woman blinked in the midday sun and took a large sip of her hot cappuccino. “Ahh, glorious,” echoed within her as the warmth, sweet as chocolate, spread through her chest. How idyllic it is in these cosy places that still smell like the countryside, with the distant dangling of cow bells filling the blue sky. The tiny thought juggled cheerily with the images, smells and noises in her head and floated with her gaze all the way up to the clock on the church steeple. When the bells began to peal shortly later, it wrapped itself around one of the thick round bell tones and let itself be carried gently over meadows of buttercup, larch woods and cliffs always higher up into the mountains.
On a summit cross was where this tiny thought really liked to sit. People with beaming faces visited this place, and he loved to keep them company in those moments. So it waited there with full anticipation for the hiker who was making his way steadily over the last few meters of sun-kissed grass before reaching the cross. Marc’s pulse was beating hard from the difficulty of the climb as he grasped the cross in both hands. What an amazing panorama! Crystal clear air around him, the world lay at his feet all green and peaceful, framed with a bizarrely craggy horizon, and softly he could hear from down in the valley the peal of church bells. “Glorious!” was the only word that fell into his head in this moment.
The tiny thought flowed over his temples as Marc looked up into the blue sky. Way down there, between the small houses on the slope had to be the hotel where they were staying. Marc sighed – how beautiful it would have been to share this moment with Paula!
He took off his backpack from his sweaty back and set it on a rock near the cross. After a short pause, he took out his cell phone from his pocket and typed something – the tiny thought hopped exuberantly between his fingertips and the screen keyboard.
Paula was completely still, concentrating on a pleasant tickling on her temples: a drop of water had dripped from her wet hair and left an irregular zig-zag trail there – it felt like a gentle caress. Then her cell vibrated in the pocket of her bathrobe. A text message from Marc: “It is simply glorious up here – I wish I could share it with you!”
Laughing, Paula looked over her red-painted toenails through the window up to the far-away mountain peaks before she began to type an answer. And the tiny thought, who was once more sitting on her shoulder, whispered quietly in her ear: “But you are – somehow…”

Translated from German by Shan Wardell
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