I sit here writing this with two weeks left in South Africa. I sit here writing this, trying to pick one thing out of my country that truly shines through as my best experience in nature. I sit here, knowing that one single experience cannot express how incredible our land really is. I think one really comes to mind though as it happens to me on the daily.
I have noticed that as a nation, we have an interesting bond with the animals that surround us. Most of us have an urge to connect with nature in some form or another. Because of lockdown, most working adults have been chained to their desks for the past 5 months, I am no exception. As the months’ roll onwards, the days become shorter and more predictable. I found myself slowly losing any sort of grasp with reality, I was being dragged into my computer’s world.
This was until something caught my attention outside my room. A robin, orange and brown in colour had wandered closer to me. We stared at each other for a bit, but eventually, my stress levels pulled me back into my laptop. I continued working, but the damn thing stayed put, hopping around, glancing up at me as if it wanted me to watch it. You have no idea how confused I was. I mean, birds aren’t supposed to be this calm around humans, especially one that I’d never seen before?
After a while, it flew away. I didn’t really expect to ever see it again, but the next day there it was. This time even closer and this time it seemed to have even more of a personality than before. This bird and I have been having staring competitions for over 2 months now. It has been my saving grace if I can say so. Every time the stress of work or lockdown becomes too claustrophobic for me, I just look up and stare at this cheeky, little robin that won’t break eye contact or fly away.
In my belief, many South African’s have an incredibly strong connection to nature and its wonderful creatures. We all want to love and feel loved, especially in times of struggle and I myself have connected with a robin that sits outside my window, every single day, without fail.
Written by Pier Veller, second place in our writing competition.
Photograph of Robin-chat from Flacks Photography.