Call of the Wild

Escaped the farm over the weekend; went to a game park. Sat in camp, high on a bluff above a river, and watched a hundred-head herd of buffalo meander – like a black stain slowly spreading – through the bush below me, a lone male elephant in their midst.

Drinking tea at dawn outside my tent I listened to the starlings squabble, watched squirrels and mongoose scamper through the dust in search of breakfast and later laughed as the children gathered baby frogs and grasshoppers from the edge of the swimming pool to toss into the centre so that the kingfisher, perched high above – watchful – in an acacia, was granted easier access to lunch.

This is where Africa is kindest: where the peace is all pervading, where the sky is largest, where sun-up, sun-down and moon rise are more beautiful, for the canvas on which they are reflected is neither muddied by smog nor polluted by synthesized light. This is where the silence rings loud in your ears for it is full of birdsong and the call of wild animals (the help!-I’m-being-murdered shriek of bush-babies; the comical honk of a gnu).

This is where – for all the trills and barks and chirruping – peace is found.

This is where souls mend. Because they can commune with nature? Perhaps. But I think it’s more likely some restoration is afforded simply because you can be far from the rattle of voices, the incessant jangle of Nokia, the roar of traffic, the madding crowd. So that you can hear your thoughts again, to know where they are to round them up.

I slept the one night we were away – under canvas – more deeply than I have done in months. If I needed reminding why I cannot leave Africa, this was it.

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3 Responses to “Call of the Wild”

  1. The Good Woman Says:

    I miss many things about Africa but the bush sits firmly at the top of the list. I envy you your weekend.

  2. Roberta Says:

    You make it all sound so exotic and beautiful. I envy you too.

  3. Minx Says:

    A friend from London once said that she found my rural county a little too airy. Goodness knows what she would make of Africa!

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