Archive for February, 2019

Peak Views

February 4, 2019



Ant says to me, ‘we take our views for granted’.

But he is wrong. I don’t. For years, in the Outpost, I lived in a place so flat, so unimpressed by topography that there was barely a ripple in the earth so that it seemed to go on and on and frighteningly on, always trying to catch its horizons. There was never an end to it and that heightened the sense of isolation.

Here, though, the earth tips and sways and trips and dances.

Our home is perched between two mountains, Meru and iconic Kilimanjaro, the valley carves a huge swathed saddle between them.   Sometimes the valley twists with dust devils, sometimes it runs rivers of aluminium as sun glances off ribbons of water after the rains.

In the mornings, at the moment, at this time of year, the height of our summer, Kili’s head rises above densely forested shoulders silver-bright so that it can be hard to see in the blinding bone white of early hours and Meru is smudged to near invisibility by dust and heat and a haze that veils it.

By noon, teasing clouds crown Kili and a few gather atop Meru’s sharp peak .

But by sundown a whisper of wind has got up and chased all the cloud away and the sun, settling far away in the west makes Kili’s snows blush pink in the face of a naked sky and Meru is bruised purple with the fading of the light.  Sometimes I watch as it disappears into the black from my kitchen window as I’m preparing supper. In the morning I watch it rise all over again, slowly, slowly pencilled against pink.

My phone bears dozens of images I’ve whatsapp’d to contacts. Not because I’m bragging: ‘see my lovely views!’. But because I still can’t believe my luck. And every day I’m astonished at how the different light, the different seasons render these views quite different.

So no. I never take my mountains for granted.