Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Food for the Soul

One cannot underestimate the value of a few days in the bushveld. Without kids.
Of course towards the end, I started to miss my girls and couldn't wait to see them again but for the rest I completely indulged in having my own time, thoughts, adult conversation and my husband all to myself. Most refreshing of all was being reminded that we are still in love and get along rather nicely in fact.
My brother, who has been involved in wildlife conservation and the safari industry for many years, organised us a private tented bush camp which we shared with him, my parents and other family. There truly is nothing that causes me to relax more instantaneously than being miles from civilisation and listening to the distant calling of lions while drinking good red wine around the campfire.
Ofcourse I am aware of the fact that this is an extremely privileged experience, one which many will never get to have, but one which I, because I can, will continue insisting on for the rest of my life.
The freezing mornings begin at dawn with coffee and rusks before heading out on an open landrover to spot whatever game is still out and about before the African heat drives them into shady hiding places. I missed the first morning's drive after having being up all night with a bad stomach but on the next morning I was lucky to see the same lactating female leopard everyone had seen the morning before. She came "leopard crawling" behind the landrover, in a stealthy attempt to catch a young kudu calf. The kudu mom saw her though and alerted the baby, which went springing into the thick shrub for safety, leaving the leopard to slink back to her den of cubs emptyhanded. Win some, loose some. Life is simple.
Ofcourse our time came to an end far to soon and I fantasised that the perfect holiday would be for the parents to go ahead and have a few nights to unwind, catch up and kiss a bit and then send for the kids to share the rest of the time as a family...
We are home now, back on our beautiful farm where the children and animals adore us. It's nice to be reminded of this sometimes. Our faithful helping hands kept the wheel turning and my mother-in-law handed over the twins with an exhausted, "thank God you're back" smile.
The girls have behaved beautifully so far, or is it just my renewed sense of patience that is lightly to be worn thin again by the time we get into the car for school tommorrow?
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