Brussels: A hedra no seu labirinto | The ivy in its maze

This story can be read in both Galician and English (the texts are presented in parallel, English in turquoise)


The ivy in Xavier Queipo's yard in Brussels is not pretty. No one could objectively describe it as beautiful, but the Galician writer beautifully describes how it is a symbol of permanence (you might also read resilience) - of overcoming difficult times.

A hedra que hai no patio, ela tamén sabe do seu labirinto propio. Leva anos medrando a ritmo lento, procurando a luz, traballando as paredes, peteirando coas súas minúsculas raíces aéreas na codia dos ladrillos. Puxémoslle unha gaiola no seu camiño e así leva entretida varios anos dando voltas por dentro e por fóra da gaiola, na súa perenne procura pola luz.


The ivy we have in the yard also knows about its own maze. It has been growing at a slow pace for years, looking for light, working the walls, slipping through its tiny air roots in the crust of bricks. We put a cage in its way and so it has been busy for several years, turning in and out of the cage, in its perennial pursuit for light.

A hedra, the ivy. Picture by Xavier Queipo.


Este ano decidiu seguir subindo, mais a estrutura da gaiola e as guías da propia hedra, que co tempo se foran mesturando, fixo que agora medre noutro plano e lle sexa, porén, difícil ascender. Timidamente, como un ourizo que se recolle en si mesmo, foi deixando saír aquí e alá unhas follas novas, lustrosas, dun verde menos intenso que as outras follas, xa veteranas, onde os depósitos cromáticos adquiriran unha tonalidade más escura, como de foresta antiga.


This year it decided to keep climbing, but the structure of the cage and the stalks of the ivy, which had been mixed over time, made it now grow on another level and, however, difficult to ascend. Timidly, like a hedgehog curling up on itself, it has sprouted here and there new, lustrous leaves, of a less intense green color than the others, already veteran leaves, where the chromatic deposits have acquired a darker hue, as if they were part of an ancient forest.


A hedra que hai no patio non é bonita. Ninguén a podería cualificar obxectivamente de fermosa, mais é un símbolo de permanencia (pódese ler tamén resiliencia), de superar xeiras difíciles e seguir no seu labirinto, que vai creando coas súas espiras (irregulares) a as súas voltas (inauditas), sempre na procura da luz.


The ivy we have in the yard is not pretty. No one could objectively describe it as beautiful, but it is a symbol of permanence (you might also read resilience), of overcoming difficult times and tracing the path in its own labyrinth which is, with its (irregular) twists and its (unheard) turns, always in the pursuit for light.


This story was shared by Xavier Queipo, the pseudonym of a Galician writer and marine biologist who lives in Brussels.


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