It is my hope that putting this voice out into our world has value, not only for me, but for others, as well. I admit to sometimes entertaining dreams of it going viral, of infecting the world with my vision. But most of the time I am content to be motivated by Gandhi's assertion: whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rim of Africa: Day 15

Photo: Galeo Saintz
Tomorrow I go back to the mountains, back to Pakhuisberg, back to begin another cycle in the journey, to lead a new group of walkers southwards on the Rim. I have not yet posted all my poems from the previous stages I walked. I have not found the time, here in the world, where time and I relate so differently. But before I go, I want to post the poem that is my favourite from the journey so far.

Day 15: Panorama to Ceres Dam, Agter Witzenberg

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rim of Africa: Day 5

Day 5: Welbedacht to Bokkveldskloof

Photo: Galeo Saintz
Not long after we've left camp, but long enough for the water basin to no longer freeze over again once your hands are washed, we pass the pool near Driehoek. It is not an easy pool to simply walk past, as we discovered last year. I will not be the one to suggest it this time, but I am very happy when Linda does. A day that starts with a swim in a pool like this, can only become one of the very best of days.

Over the river we gather to marvel at a dung beetle. It doesn't so much as pause in its industriousness, does not for a moment hesitate to question the value of its work. At Eikeboom, something in the soil at my feet catches my eye. It is a coin, worn and thin - a 1942 South African tikkie, with a protea on the front. I wonder at how long it has lain buried there. I wonder at what brought it to the surface for me to find.

All of this feeds into the poem that comes to me as we walk silently up the track into Tierkloof,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rim of Africa: Day 2

Day 2: Pakhuis to Brugkraal
Photo: Adele Labuscagne

We are descending the pass with Heuningvlei in the valley below. It is warm. I can feel the salt on my skin from the uphill behind us. I have been thinking about time, out here on the trail, and about the feeling of moving into the wide open space around us. The track curves and runs south of some towering rocks that throw welcome shade across it. The little stream, that was dry in January, rushes below. I pause here and the group slowly gathers as each one arrives, stops, takes off their backpack, settles in, and stares outwards. The stream and the birds are part of the silence. All else is as still as the ancient cedars in the rocky koppies above us. My poem is ready:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rim of Africa: starting the journey

October is Rim of Africa month for me. In October the Cape Fold Mountains are at their best. The daytime temperatures are not yet too hot, the night times no longer too cold, the water flows strongly in each stream and the fynbos is ablaze with its diversity of flower and scent.

Being a trail leader on the Rim of Africa mountain passage is, every year, an extraordinary experience for me and an amazing privilege.