Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

25 January 2006

A visit from the free

I had a magical visit yesterday from the world of the free. It was halfanhour beyonddusk. The air was crisp and the eveningquiet.

I was reflecting on the day's events when everything around me ceased to exist, except for one minute little person. She was the quietest, most enchanting creature I have met in ages. So light on her feet. She was a nagapie. I haven't seen one in years.

I see free birds, beetles, moths and frogs a lot. But seeing a wild "socalledprimate" on my garage roof, 8 km from the citycentre thrilled me to the toes!

The recent rains brought a flood of flying ants to our stoep light last night ... and she just couldn't resist. She obviously came down from the koppie behindourhouse to feast on them. She was as bold as she was small. She moved at the speedoflight, flicking her tail with delight as she gulped down several flyingants while scampering across our garageroof. Then, all too soon for my liking, she decided the neighbours, me, my dogs and cats were too close for comfort. So she leapt ... all 10cm of her ... straight up into the air (about 3metres). She launched herself from the roof onto the telephone wire above. She made her way up the wire, into the large old white stinkwood behind our house and disappeared into the night.

I felt exhilirated and ran inside to tell Helen. I hadn't breathed throughout her visit. It was a moment I will cherish forever.

When I returned outside, my neighbours, who had obviously spotted her as well, were dazzling their 2-million-watt-safari-fucking-torch into the tree to try and spot her again. I could have shot them with my slingshot. Why couldn't they just absorb the moment, instead of trying to find where she went to? They wanted to shine the light on her, like a lab rat.

That's when the sadness set in. I realised that the koppie on which I live is isolated and shrinking. Properties in Tshwane, with a view are highly sought after and being developed fast. I realised that her island habitat will not last forever. And she had come to remind me of that. And now I have to help her protect our home (hers and mine) from further development.

* The picture above was taken by the wonderful people at Wildcare Animal Rehabilitation Centre, some 20 km north of my home.

** Sadly the human genome project also wants to shine their dazzling torch and disect her every gene ... have a look at their bushbaby gene sequencing info: http://www.genome.gov/15014526.

23 January 2006

Returning to the wild

I have never thought of myself as a prisoner before. But recently the theme keeps coming up in my life. But something someone said in conversation today, sparked off the truth in me.

I was born inside a prison camp. I went to school, where I was told at age 6 to stand in line, keep quite, not to question authority. I was told when to eat, when to take a break. I was told what to think. THAT'S PRISON!

As a result my thought-patterns are shaped by prison mentality. And as the person went on to say, "those formative years were supposed to have been spent exploring ecological and living reality". So how, in the supposed prime of my life, do I undo the damage? I know I should get out into the wild. I need to spend more time in nature, listening to the land. But I know I have to pay my mortgage at the end of the month. So what now?