Kalahari Moments
Kalahari Travel Journal

© Stopped in the middle of the Kalahari.
The sun was setting as I crested the final dune and looked down on Deception Valley. I stopped the vehicle and climbed up and sat on the roof-rack. Time stood still.It was dark when I finally drove into the valley. I stopped at one of the tree islands and, after collecting some wood, built a fire and cooked a piece of steak I had brought from Maun. I sat at the fire for a while then walked out the circle of firelight, away from the trees. As I was walking the full moon began to rise over Deception Valley.I stood transfixed as the valley lit up. I was completely alone. How long I stood there I cannot say but later as I lay on the roof-rack looking up at the moon and stars I tried to construct my thoughts and emotions.

Still, in a noiseless shower of stars
I listen, straining my senses
But only the vast silence
Time stands still, frozen in a moment
Then a jackal cries
Challenging the sky
Silence returns
For an eternal moment

To be totally alone, for whatever length of time, be it ten minutes or ten days, can be very self-defining. Pull away from your present environment and take stock. There are people who have told me it is only because of a deep-seated unhappiness or restlessness that I need time to myself but it is only when you are totally alone with yourself that you really hear and see things the way you are. Outside influences distort one's personal outlook and true appreciation of self.

At the edge of my senses I heard a lion roar
I stirred from my morning reverie
There it was again, thrilling in its distance
I contemplated a moment, an eternity
Then it roared again
And the moment was gone

by Leigh Kemp

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