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Wild Walk April 2022

In April 2022, seventeen intrepid souls, one brave guide, Tutani and one driver/cook/handlanger, Roli headed out for a 6-day hike through Pondoland in the beautiful Wild Coast of South Africa. Little did we know that a deadly rainstorm was gathering. It hit us with a torrential downpour from Monday night through to Wednesday causing the hike to be abandoned and a hasty plan put together to pull us out from behind the swollen rivers. 435 lost their lives in these calamitous floods. While trapped at Vonnies Rest, Catherine van Heerden took the opportunity to do some reflective writing and wrote a wonderful short essay about the experience. I offered to put it to music and this is the result. The Wild and Wet Walk essay by Dr Catherine van Heerden Smiling faces Warm embraces People from the North and South Gathering Welcoming hearts laughing and happy voices chattering In our minds, a beautiful path ahead We could be anywhere but we chose to be here instead. Raindrops suggesting it may be more challenging than planned But we strengthen ourselves Tighten our backpacks Prepared with boots and grit Thumbs up, reasonably fit We are manning the rivers and roads. In spite of the wine and the melodies to keep our spirits up, We know… We are small when the earth weeps this much When it sobs without end Its tears soaking all that we own Taking cold showers Resting in wet towers Trapped between leaking huts and angry streams Our plans to escape also becoming floating dreams. And when the wild walk becomes a soaking wet walk Your raincoat is to be worn around your mind, your words and your soul Letting the rains nourish the earth Whilst you nourish yourself with what you can control.