Warmer weather translates to nicer evenings. It’s still somewhat cool out (at least here in Port Elizabeth), but it is really nice when the sun goes down. A perfect time for a little quiet relaxation.
For me, sundown signals the countdown to walk time. It seems like a silly and overly-simple thing but after dark the dog and I take to the neighbourhood streets. The area is devoid of walkers, joggers and cyclists – they all do their exercises in the morning or the early evening.
Instead, I avoid them all and am rewarded with an almost entirely empty neighbourhood. There are no sounds of gardening, no sounds of industry, there’s no-one making a racket of any kind. It is just me and muttley, with the odd Uber and a security company vehicle or two.
Between us we trudge up this street and down that one, going where the mood (and the smells in the dog’s case) take us. There’s no rush, there’s nowhere to be, there’s nothing else that needs to get done. We just perambulate, stroll, wander, saunter and amble our way around.
This is the time of day I do my mental filing, when there’s nothing more to add, no more tasks to accomplish, no more work to do. Evaluate, consider, inspect, examine, unpack and sort. All of this while I let the physical mechanics of putting one foot in front of the other happen automatically and take the opportunity to look around, to observe and to enjoy the space I have almost exclusively to myself.
Sure, I’m surrounded by people. They are all over the place, but they are all indoors, getting on with their lives. By contrast to this, I’m left with the great outdoors on a quiet Spring evening on the tip of the African continent and it is glorious.
The air is crisp, my breaths are deep and the reward is a true taste of life. I feel genuine sadness for those who are unable to have this simple enjoyment for, when all is done it is the simple and uncomplicated moments in life that are the purest.
On a final note, people can be really awful sometimes but they can be equally amazing too. In this article in the Siberian Times, find out how veterinarians at Irkutsk Zoo helped rebuild the feathers of a young Saker Falcon when it was injured in the process of being poached. The falcon and another, a Peregrine Falcon, were hidden in a couch and in the process of being smuggled from Siberia to the United Arab Emirates. The Saker, with its damaged feathers, was unable to fly and suffering depression, embarking on a hunger strike. While the flight feathers would have eventually regrown, it would take two years and the falcon had weeks to live.
The vets reconstructed the feathers with the help of syringe needles. Read the full article at the link above.