Last week most of us shivered and shook from the cold. We ventured up the mountain to see the snow.
We saw much more than that.
Hillsides of wildflowers – Leucadendrons that turn the most beautiful colours at this time of the year. No, those are not the blooms, those are the leaves and entire shrubs.
An early Sugar Bush (Suikerbossie) – the protea that gave rise the South African folk song, popularised by Eve Boswell.
The mountains, so close, yet so far. Intersperse among the indigenous vegetation, the blue gums responsible for sucking up so much of our water.
Not far from the snow, these holiday cottages and lands of red Leucadendron for cut flowers and, in the foreground, South Africa’s iconic blushing brides already being harvested for export.
I took this close-up last year, and I love these rare little flowers. The plants are insignificant, and their blush short-lived. This year, they seem to be flowering earlier than usual – they usually flower from August into September. I know this because when The Husband and I were married, I decreed that I wanted these in my bouquet. We didn’t know if they’d be available towards the end of September. They were. A story for another time, perhaps.
After heading down the mountain and keeping my promise to share photos of the snow, for my blogpals on @steemit, we had occasion to head down the village as the sun was setting. This is what the snow, beginning to melt, looked like at sunset as we headed home.
The following morning, I was summoned with the admonishment, “You might want to bring your camera!” More snow had fallen overnight. It felt like it, too when I took these to photographs from the road outside our house.
So the sun set on Monday, and the sun rose on Tuesday, as it did for the rest of the week. Including Saturday, by which time the snow had melted and a glorious day dawned. Except it was not.
We headed to the market ahead of what promised to be a glorious winter’s day.
Glorious the weather was, but that was all. As I was setting up, a friend brought me the tragic news: one of the sweetest human beings I have ever met, was dead. Another car accident. Hers was the only vehicle from which she was flung on that cold winter’s night.
A pall fell over the market. We all went through the motions, punctuated by sad hugs, many shaking heads and tears.
Sasha: we were never introduced; I just knew her and always enjoyed connecting with her. Somehow, light always came with her. She grew up in the village and so was part of the village we joined. She left a void when she worked in Cape Town for a while. It was wonderful when she returned just on a year ago, living in her Mum’s house.
I never heard Sasha say a nasty word about anyone, let alone to, anyone. No-one had a bad word to say about her. I’ve not known that. Ever.
Gentle, sweet, kind and caring.
My heart breaks for Sasha’s parents, her brother with whom she had a special bond, her boyfriend and all who loved her.
Sasha, gentle sweet soul, your blush is gone. You leave a black hole, but you have joined the heavens as one of the brightest stars that look down on our village.
Other than where indicated, photographs are mine, taken with Samsung 16.4 Megapixel camera.
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Animation By @zord189