Sometimes, sometimes because life heaps itself heavily upon you, you need to get away. Right away. Away from madding crowds and maddening chores and the mundanity of it all.

So we did.

We drove for hours across plains and up mountain sides and over roads rutted with rain.

We drove west with a lengthening day so that we stole more daylight and arrived at our far flung destination when it was already after dark where we’d come from.

And we slept in a tent and listened to the echoing roar of lion that snagged the night and stole into dreams and we heard the whoop whoop of sloped back hyena and we woke to the incessant chatter of starlings and weavers.

We took a game drive through forests of whistling thorn which scratch my skin and pinch but not the thick hide of the elephants who comb through the brush grazing. Not them. I had to squint to find their grey shapes through the smoke of the scrub; the ivory white of tusks gave them away.

In the evening we clambered up a kopje to drink a beer and watch the sun go down and on a neighbouring rock a troupe of baboon gathered to do just the same – without the beer: they huddled together and watched the slip of the day as the sky was fired with a last light – like a dimming flare.

On our way home we saw three leopard on the road – a mum and her grown cubs. They were only there to see fleetingly before they slid into the bush and vanished – like magic. Now you see me, now you don’t. I wondered then – how much wildlife watches us as we strain to see it?  

The magic of that sighting will stay with me for days. That I did not capture those cats with curling tails in a lens doesn’t matter. That I know they’re still there is what does.

And we are home. And life sits a little lighter on my shoulders.



2 Responses to “Ecaping.”

  1. Steph Says:

    Hi RM. Glad you are safe and sane in lock down. I found your blog last year at some point and dipped in and out. I hopped in again during these interesting times in which we are living (more time available in our socially distanced outposts) and read almost from the beginning. Thank you for sharing both your story and your prose. It’s a shame your book was never published, I hope you were awarded your MA though.

    I have a burning question if you don’t mind? What happened to Moshi?

  2. Addy Says:

    Wow. A wonderful escape. London doesn’t compare!

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