Saturday, May 31, 2014

uMgungundlovu.

I left a cold Cape Town in darkness and horizontal rain. Now I find myself in a different world: the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. Hot and lush with sugarcane and cattle. Earth steeped in the blood and tears of Boer, Brit and Zulu.

Our first set takes shape on the savannah outside town.


On a rare day off, still trying to get my bearings, I followed my nose to the Botanical Gardens. I walked down the ancient plane tree arbour, kicking my way through ankle-deep leaves.


There was no-one else there. Sounds carried from far off - men chopping wood, the honking of geese. All around me, leaves fell in drifts. I can't explain the sound they made upon impact. An organic kind of snick. Some say it's the sound of the gods walking.



I sat under the huge canopy of a tree, looking out over prehistoric marshland. The air full of sunbeams and small flying insects.



I tried to ignore the signs that cropped up everywhere:
You walk here at your own risk.
I walked along flower strewn paths, bees diving drunkenly into the camellias. Tree trunks thickly encrusted with lichens. And then I left, one more rustle in the trees a rustle too many. This town is filled with warnings, some are veiled and some are not.


My Love is in Paris, walking the streets of yet a different world.

2 comments:

Rosie said...

Beautiful images Lily.

the sourcerer said...

X!