Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One golden afternoon

The afternoon held a golden promise untouched by the icy southeaster that chased empty chips packets down Kloof Street. The sky was swept clear blue and Table Mountain’s western edges stood there shining in the sun.
Five minutes from lounge to mountain is an old story, but after so many years every quick and easy escape feels like the first time. I had my boots on and was on the mountain quicker than it would take most farmers to get into their bakkies and drive to the nearest nice – and I mean very nice – place to walk.
Often I drive to Kloof Nek and let my car decide which way we’re going. Today it was Kloof Corner, the edge of Table Mountain above Camps Bay. The pelargoniums along the path sang in full-throttle purple and a wisp of cloud brushed the top of the mountain.The sun put on its best show. Everything glowed: the stones on the path, the solitary tree blown sideways and the grasses bending in the wind. Even the chipped and peeling old white beacon on Kloof Corner glowed.There I lay down on my back on a terrace of stone and stretched my arms out. The mountain bent over me and swallows dived full-speed into cracks in the rock. Full body contact with old stone makes me happy.
Kloof Corner had two shows on. To the one side lay the city of Cape Town and the blue curve of Table Bay.
To the other side the ravines and buttresses of the Twelve Apostles stood in light and deep shadow between sea and sky. This was the wild view I preferred.
By the time I walked down the path again the glowing afternoon had become liquid gold that spilt into the world around me. The golden light poured off the mountain, washed the sky and splashed and shimmered in the sweet pink sea far below.
And the after-glow lasted until late in the night.