Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missing the moon

We had an early morning date with the full moon. It was meant to set just before 7, so Jan and I took our tea and rusks and went to find a spot on the spine of Signal Hill. You could say we had booked  the best seat in the house. In the west, the full gold moon would sink into the ocean, while in the east the red new sun would rise. 
But it was not to be. Signal Hill was covered in thick mist. Instead of the full moon extravaganza, we had the morning of crystals. 
The first watsonia of summer and the blue babianas flowering along the path were splashed in droplets. The mosque was in misty soft focus and the silk on the kramats of Islam's holy men sank into a deeper, wet colour.
No full moon, but diamonds everywhere.

Kramat at the mosque on Signal Hill.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Forester's child

My father was a forester and my grandfather was a forester. I was thinking about them yesterday while I was walking in Newslands Forest after the rain. 

I love everything about the forest. The way the green swallows you, the leafy softness, the smell of pine and wet earth. All that makes me feel small, as if I’m walking beside my father and my grandfather, both long gone. 
Mossy bark blurs in soft light.

Yesterday afternoon the forest hovered just there, between the rain and a clearing in the sky. The pine trees had wet bark like dark elephant skin and a single red leaf twirled in a secret current of air, like a ruby pendant in the green.

In the forest I love walking, just walking, without plan or path. As a path appears my feet follow it, or not. I like getting lost this way, twisting and turning deeper into the forest, taking faint little paths disappearing into knee-high ferns. Sometimes I let myself go into darkness, where the path disappears into a tunnel between low-hanging branches.

And then, a clearing. The ruins of the woodcutter’s cottage in Newslands Forest has clover growing out of old stone walls and mossy rocks scattered around spaces that were once rooms.  The oaks have crisp and fresh new leaves that have dropped like green flyers after the rain and wind, giving notice of spring.

On my way back wood smoke drifts on the cool evening air. It’s a fragrance made from the warmth of a room, a cooked supper and soft light.  Home of a forester’s child.
Swaying strelitzias at dusk.