Living Signs


Ragged banners spread along Mozambican beaches are sometimes the only sign of the existence of other human beings in the area. They are usually made of strong wood and a thorn piece of cloth.


It is evident that all those signs had to represent something. But the reality is that I never gave it a thought until recently, when at sunset I run a few kilometers on Macaneta beach. For each weather-battered sign, there it was: a fishing boat or a couple of them.


The reason of those signs became evident: they are the only way to guide fishermen to the right place when approaching the endless beach. That’s the only reason for those humble, trembly beach signs.


And at the same time I was running, I could picture, in my imagination, the relief those helmsmen must feel when in rotten weather they can clearly perceive those familiar signs. I also wondered if we shouldn’t do the same: erect signs to mark past mistakes, happy moments, goals that we seek… It would make it much easier paddling throughout our lives.