We all get caught up in the mundanity of life, especially when our lives turn towards the side of crazy. Everything becomes a rush, the to-do lists keep on multiplying (and the few things we are able to scratch off as ‘done’ seem like nothing more than tiny lines on an endless page), and the days blur into each other. Cooking, grocery shopping, making the bed – everything becomes a chore, just one more thing added to the list of things that have to be done.

And here I was, in the midst of it all, stuck in traffic on the way to the supermarket to cross that ‘grocery shopping’ entry off my list, when a little sparkle hanging down from a street lamp caught my eye. A silver crystal shimmer – peaceful, beautiful, pure – amidst the humdrum of just another day in the city hub of Cape Town. It was there for a second only, but the second was long enough to make an impression. My sister, who was with me at the time, informed me that the crystals had been hung up on street lamps in and around the city centre as part of the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival.

Infecting the City had been on my mind all week. A series of exhibitions – everything from the normal to the weird and wonderful – were being held in and around the city centre, and I was adamant that I wanted to experience some of these. But attending the festival got lost somewhere in the many bullet points of my to-do list. And yet, as it would happen, I came to experience the wonder of the festival in the most per chance way after all.


This exhibition, ‘Spotting Rainbows‘ by Michael Elion, seems to have had exactly this in mind. The information blurb on ‘Spotting Rainbows’ describes it as being “a visual treasure hunt that immerses the natural elements with the man-made to produce unexpectedly beautiful surprises in the cityscape, almost like secrets”. I couldn’t agree more – crystals in the air, like rainbows, linking nature to urban realities.

And in the midst of the craziness of life, I was inspired and caught in amazement by a little crystal ball hanging off a street lamp. I guess that the magic of life has a habit of creeping up on you like that, reminding you of the beauty of it all when you seem to need that reminder the most.