The bushveld’s magical play of light through the grass fields.

Looking at the Unseen

Easter, 27 March 2016.

I wanted to go and see the buck. The one that prides itself in coffee table books, but always eludes itself in real life. I dreamt of it:

A sire of sheer magnificence, its neck hair glistering in the setting sun and its long horns spiking into the sky like a devils fork…

This one was called the oryx and always stood on some dune (like in the books). (Due to the lack of photographic evidence you will have to check it up in your closest coffee table library).

It has been unseen by my eyes and on this day my swabby and I might stake our pirate flag, King Jack, at its countenance, claiming the unseen, seen!

We grab at an opportunity late the Sunday afternoon, jumped into the car and of with the parentals we went in search for our great antelope!

The African bushveld’s magical play of light through the grass.
The African bushveld’s magical play of light through the grass.

Down the red dust road we go… impala, zebra, blue wildebeest, a lonely giraffe, kudu, but alas!… no oryx!

Yet, as the dust road gets more sandy and the grass of the bush longer and leaner we suddenly found ourselves ensnared in the bushveld’s magical play of light through the grass fields. We had to stop. We had to stand and marvel at a picture never before seen. We had to inspect this metamorphosis of dull grass becoming the fairy lights of Africa.

We had to look upon the unseen!

Ordinary African grass transformed into a light spectacular.
Ordinary African grass transformed into a light spectacular.

And it’s here that we realised that this spectacle is a glimpse of fairydom that nature only reveals at that exact moment when the low setting sun meets the angle of an anticipating human eye, through the lens of a grass seed.

Time, space, direction and purpose lost its meaning and significance. Being lost was for a moment in time something to pursue and enjoyed. In that moment we could all share in our awe and excitement, be happy and glad and appreciate what we have in life!

We experienced several spots of these “time bubbles”: the sun’s beams through the long grass, the yellow blaze of light over an open field and the graze of blue wildebeest among yellow daisies under a canopy of trees.

Oy!… And it was at this sight of the wildebeest and the daisies that the unseen soberly awakes us out of our dreamscape. We stopped the car to marvel again at nature’s stage between the black trees. As my swabby stepped out the car, he didn’t see the puff adder laying innocently in front of the door, and almost stepped on it!

Shiver me timbers!

Besides the jump of unbelief the Privateer gave, the snake just lay there untouched by the infestation of tourist dropped upon it.

Well, I can, with a clear conscious say that I was too far from the snake to be scared of it. But I did had a look at the unseen, from a distance.

After this commotion, realising we are all alive (and able to tell the tale – dead men tell no lies, ey!), we head forward, hoping the road will take us back.

Zebras running home in the late African sun.
Zebras running home in the late African sun.

That day, the unseen was not an oryx. It was the glistering of sunlight in a grass seed, golden fields in the African bush and the providence of a lazy snake.

That day the unseen was the unexpected.

I might have not had a chance to look upon my unseen buck, and the two pirate kings might have not been able to claim a stake at their sought treasure, but nature surely took a claim at our souls.

To err is human, to arr is piracy!

Buccaneer Jo. Peace out!

PS: We did had the chance to behold the face of a red hartebeest – also a very “unseen” antelope, and also very suddenly and unexpected (as we were by then hastily on our way back). Unfortunately the best shot I could get from this buck was its arse, thus the shame prevents me to place any photographic evidence of it here. You just gotta believe me!

A glimpse at fairydom that nature only reveals at that exact moment when the low setting sun meets the angle of an anticipating human eye,
A glimpse at fairydom that nature only reveals at that exact moment when the low setting sun meets the angle of an anticipating human eye,