The Golden Glow of the Bush
I have seen some glorious skies during my travels around the world, from the smog-induced fluorescent sunsets in Moscow to the burning red horizon in Lake Tahoe. Looking up toward the heavens at dusk is my favorite time of day.
But, nowhere have I ever been so mesmerized by the setting sun than in the bush. Why? Because the light the fading sun casts on the landscape is like no other. Call it the golden hour or the magic hour, or the hour when a quiet hush blankets the land as day turns to night. Birds sing their bedtime songs, jackals practice their forlorn calls, and predators wake, yawning widely, preparing for the hunt. The fading light signals transformation from the brightness to darkness, from things seen to those unseen.
Lazy, sleeping lions transform from looking like cuddly stuffed animals to ferocious stalkers of anything that moves. Hunger calls them to action, stealthy and relentless in their pursuit. Owls waken, looking for bush animals on their way to their nighttime dens as the sun drops deep into the land, their eyes alert, talons sharp and deadly. Baboons grunt their way back to the trees and cliffs that keep them safe from predators. Nightjars fly about scooping up insects for their supper while orb spiders tighten their webs, ready to pounce on anything unlucky enough to fly into their homes, even birds.
In Johannesburg, I make sure I reach my home before dark. Who knows what human predator awaits in this dark and dangerous city? There are too many stories on too many days to ignore the possibilities.
But, in the bush, the golden glow signals it’s time to make a fire and commune with friends and reflect on the day’s sightings, activities, and adventures. Funny enough, I have no fear as the dark sets in, I know what’s out there and what can happen if I venture too far from the light, and I am not afraid because it is not human and my chances are pretty good that I’ll wake to the light of the next day.
#ilovethebush #lastdaysinsouthafrica #goldenglow #dusksmagic #writing #personalessays