Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine

Random musings

Autumn in the wings

Autumn is in the air and the days are drawing in. This time of year brings out the best in me – the stifling heat of late summer, the galeforce southeasters that pump up the valley and fill the air with dust and leaves, slamming doors and windows – all gone and replaced by almost wind-free, sunny days with cool air drifting in from the Atlantic, a salty scent of freshly turned kelp wafting in through my window in the still of the night, and the call of the night herons heard above the gentle breaking of waves across the bay.

Sunsets bring a warm tinge to the sandstone cliffs of Chapman’s Peak, and colour the cable station pink on its perch at the edge of Table Mountain. The ravines and peaks of the Twelve Apostles ripple in shades of green and grey as they watch over the pristine Orange Kloof, that last vestige of indigenous forest that has so far escaped the depredation of developers. The Disa River tumbles from the Back Table, its headwaters gathered in the reservoirs built by our early engineers, their legacy still providing water for a vastly increased population, no doubt far greater than was ever dreamed of.

For those who are able to climb the steep mountain tracks, it is still possible to look around and see no sign of civilisation, to isolate oneself so as to imagine a world filled with wild flowers, tinkling streams, lounging lizards and slithering snakes, weathered boulders eroded into fanciful shapes by wind and water over eons, and a vast ocean stretching to an endless horizon in the west, with layers of mountain ranges extending in hues of blue, indigo and purple until faded from sight towards the east.

A privilege indeed, to live in this place where raw nature is close at hand, yet far from the bustle of city life.

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