One of the reasons why I love the Kalahari is for its silence. Come mid-December and the earth lies bleached and ?attened by the heat, all life retreats into inert silence. Birds sit motionless in the green depths of the camel thorn trees, their beaks agape to cool the blood. Even insects scuttle for the shelter offered by a leaf, a stone or bush, waiting quietly for the heat to pass.
Closing your eyes, you’ll sense the hushed arrival of the silence. For it has presence, a quality of being. Like an unseen person entering one’s personal space, turning up out of nowhere and merging with the rhythm of one’s breath, the beating of one’s heart.
Many people ?nd it hard to be with silence – those awkward pauses in a conversation, when loadshedding shuts off all machines and the TV darkens, becoming mute and dumb. These folks get restless, anxious, even panicked or depressed. They desperately seek the reassuring sounds of life. Not me, though. Silence attracts me, settles me, anchors me. It leadeth me along still waters, restoreth my soul.