It was not the first time I forgot to change after school. The thrill of the chase and the synergy with nature was too much for a 10-year-old. The khaki camouflaged me in the semi-arid woodland here on the edges of the Kalahari.
I sought shelter to cut down the chance of dehydration.
The baobab. My trusty sentinel and the centre of my world rose up from the scrub. A two-thousand-year-old legend, leafless ten months of the year, preserved life’s most prized possession within its waxy fire-resistant bark.
San folklore claimed the tree offended the God Thora who plucked it from his garden and flung it over the wall of Paradise. Where it plunged to earth upside down & grew as is.
Relieved the hunt was unsuccessful I rested in her shade and the ever so slight whiff of a breeze. I loved the chase but not the finality of the kill.
Nowhere did I feel more secure than in the arms of this giant. The hours of fantasising about her guests from the past. I imagined the tales the Bushmen told around their fires. Good times and bad. Of pith-helmeted colonials and their cuffed porters. The terrorists and freedom fighters.
The calm. The harmony of nature. At peace. I slept content that the future will be as it should.