Solitude on the river bank

24th September 2013

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Our instructor Graham swapped our bush walk this morning for an exercise in solitude.

We set off along the river bed and then every hundred metres or so he dropped us off. The idea was that we would simply sit there for the next two hours and watch the sun come up.

I really enjoyed the opportunity for some alone time. I sat under a weeping boer-bean tree and went through some trees in my notebook, watched some vervets feeding and then caught up on the sleep I missed the night before (it was so cold).

The two hours went pretty quickly before I was woken up abruptly by Graham creeping up on me and growling in my ear.

Even though its only been 20 days on the course, it’s going to be hard to adjust to normal life after a year. Already the only jokes we tell are related to animal behaviours or are based on some terrible tree puns.

Lastnight around the camp fire it was like being in the bar after a rugby or cricket match. But rather than talking about the highlights of the match and slapping each other on the back for a great play the back slapping was for someone identifying a tree from a simple leaf on the floor, a dead trunk or a tree from 75m away. It all sounds very sad but we are all into it.