Sunday, June 16, 2013

On the road.

It took some time to exchange the familiar
for the unfamiliar.
In the shadowy dips of Sir Lowry's pass there was thick hoarfrost on the bushes. Then, in the marshy, sunlit parts, steam rose and turned the world prehistoric.
We flashed past ostriches and sheep exhaling white puffs of air, speechless.

We crossed a river called the Maandagsout. Monday Salt.
Sleepy towns like Bonnievale, where people live without fences and sit in the sun of an afternoon. The mountains around Ashton were covered in snow. It made me long for things in my grandmother's kitchen, things that I hadn't seen since I was a child.

(via Bidorbuy)
Autumn has stripped the trees of their leaves, although in Tradouw, some of the fruit trees still hang in bright yellow tatters. There are things that I knew once, but have forgotten. How I love the smell of a dusty road. How aloes in all of their glory make my heart catch.

There are many places in the Karoo where once there was human life and now there is none. A railway station with a peeling sign: Vondeling.

This is what you see as you descend into the valley of the small town called Nieu Bethesda.

We camped in a small padlocked paddock, surrounded by a herd of very vocal sheep. Like humans, determined by gender and age, they have different voices. They express surprise, fright and resignation. 
They call out and they answer.
This I never knew.

We pitched our tent under a big willow tree. The milky way was very bright, and there was a thin sliver of a moon - a short fingernail clipping of a moon.
I woke in the night and the wind in the willow
sounded like rain.

When you walk through the quiet streets, there are clues that lead you to the Owl House.
But that house, and the lady who built it, deserve a story of their own.

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