Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Karoo Miracles

The seemingly dried out lifeless barren tree immediately outside my bedroom window?

It’s full of leaves, blossoms and baby pomegranates.

Alive, throbbing, fertile.

The almost invisible (unless you’re far-sighted and tall) nest on the far side of the stoep?

The mom is not hatching eggs!!

Underneath the mom are two deeply breathing chicks. They look disheveled, damp, vulnerable and miraculous.

The hibernating tortoises, Hedge and Gate?

Alive. Sipping water out of the same bowl as the birds.

Strutting from side to side, almost as if they didn’t play dead during the winter months.

A plastic bowl placed underneath a dripping outside tap?

A daily meeting point for the birds in the hood.

Not a day goes by that I don’t marvel at the feathered people and their cocktail party at the (dripping) tap.

Vygies. Purple and yellow and attached to juicy succulents.

My late afternoon Sunday walk to the nearest farm house, past the dam without water.


Fourteen springbuck.

A family of mountain goats including several baby goats.

Two mountain tortoises, one scuttling under a fence to reside in a field of vegetables, another crossing the highway on a deserted Sunday afternoon.

And the piece de resistance, a mare and her foal on the contour path. Alone, together, owning the mountain.

If you’re confused, bored, lonely, wondering if you should take the plunge and go online or visit a mall?

Take a leisurely walk past a dry Karoo dam, a clanking windmill and a few metres of strewn porcupine quills.

There will be nourishment and sustenance in there. Just do it.


Please register or log in to comment