Friday, October 28, 2011

Freestate Visit....September 2011

I was born in the Freestate - 

....where the Caledon River connects Lesotho with SA. It's a land with a unique landscape and majestic vistas which excite my senses... it's a land that's part of my childhood roots and part of my visceral life blood.

We go on a trip back to these roots. I soak in the vistas; the koppies, ancient rock formations, majestic clouds, rusty windmills, lofty sunsets and the multi hues of rugged golden earthy browns through to crisp verdant greens. 
There's a serenity there away from the madding crowd. I watch a family of primeval baboons nonchalantly sunning themselves on a clump of rocks.

I attentively listen to the 'Piet my Vrou' and the doves melodious cooing.  It makes my life feel as though its frozen in time; as though yesterday I was that freckle -faced, pigeon toed school girl in my Ficksburg black pleated school uniform, sitting in the back of Dad's 1957 Chevvy on the way back to weekly boarding school, along a dusty farm road where windmills salute the heavens; past antediluvian sandstone edifices.

      I muse about this as I watch three mesmerised hunting dogs on the back of a bakkie, as they wait for their farmer -master with a six pack paunch, who just nipped in to the bottle store for another six pack.
     My eyes are drawn back to the windmills as they hover alongside sturdy, mature sandstone buildings with red corrugated iron roofs. Clarens nestles and snuggles below its amphitheatre of mountains and sandstone koppies. The quietness is pregnant with expectation. Time seems to stand still in Clarens. It's a place I like to visit when I return to SA from New Zealand; as though it permits me to sneak back to a previous lifetime of mine.

       And as the day steadily trickles into evening, people wend their way to drink a pint, then drive back to their bed and breakfast spots, to their homes, to the farms in the area where the lofty poplar trees stand alone. The setting sun will rise again tomorrow and Clarens will abundantly share its creative optimism and gentle rhythmic hum all over again.  


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