It is a long time since I wrote for the chronicle. At the house in Costa Calla I have five bound books of my musings over the years 2000 to 2005, when I used to go up almost every second weekend and take pictures and walk.
The more things change the more they say the same. That is what I thought on the way back, as we drove through a light shower before Pietermaritzburg. I went for a stroll on Sebastian’s Walk on Saturday afternoon. The bush at the start of the path to the sundial that counts only the happy hours has grown over to form an arch now. But the sundial remains; the brass is weathered and moss is growing on the mini Stonehenge rock that supports it. Some people were fishing on Evergreen and a dog jumped in to challenge his master’s trout. The master won.
Later that afternoon thick storm clouds rolled in from the east, black and billowing, ominous with lightning striking ever closer. The ridge from Evergreen to our house is igneous, and our place has been struck three times by lightning in the last few years. So I walked back to safety.
At home Ines was sitting before the fire, reading. Some things do not change. They just stay the same. She made supper and we chatted. After a solid sleep in the quiet, because after the storm the mist descended and enveloped the house in a sponge of silence, we woke and went for a walk. The sun was out and was warm. I worked up a sweat as the road climbed into Holbeck. We saw a pair of bulbuls, loyal to each other, as we entered the mist belt forest. We heard Piet My Vrou’s calling, along with a Narina Trogon. Heard but not seen. The forest allowed you to be a child again, at peace with the spirits of the great old trees reaching through the canopy to the sun. The road has dried out after all the rain, but every spring was burbling water that you could smell so sweet as you walked past. The bigger streams were torrents as they raced down the slope to the Umgeni below.
At the crest of Mbona Mountain we paused and descended into the valley, to the house. We passed a herd of Blesbok and zebra, with a few young of each, their curly clean pelts soft and clean against the obscenely green grass. They were on a slope with the gun blue waters of Amber behind them. After breakfast I took my camera and spent some time photographing them. It was hard not to think back to the Masai Mara, where on my last day I saw a million wildebeest and one hundred thousand zebra on the marsh. Now I was looking at five zebra and twenty Blesbok.
We had lunch outside on the veranda. We had to move the table under the roof as the midday storm unleashed big juicy drops of water. Fortunately there was not much of a squall as we caught up with Bernard and Janet.
It was good to be back, and to know that the changes we saw and heard