I took a long walk early this morning, grateful that I am able to walk unassisted after my motorbike crash a year ago, and importantly to reflect on quite where we are at. I love the cold, and walking in a white, frosty environment this morning did my soul no end of good. Frost generally indicates the onset of winter, a changing of seasons, and right now for South Africa a significant move as we begin Level 3 protocols. June 1 marks 66 days under Lock-down, and my sense is that most folks are dying for some easing of restrictions.
Good friends of ours have a large flagstone in their garden, on which lie the words “Don’t complain about the darkness if you haven’t lit a candle”. Those words have a profound effect on me, and with the cessation of basically all activities I am involved in on 26 March, I wondered what I would do to light a candle?
On 8 April we launched my online storytelling via Patreon. Lighting this candle has proven a very steep learning curve indeed. Besides the actual recording of the stories (which I have written about previously), we have had to reach out to others to assist with editing, uploading and promotion of the stories on social media. Many potential Patrons have found the registration process to Patreon onerous, so we have resorted to their paying us directly and we share the story links on the understanding that they will not share the links indiscriminately.
I love being challenged, and so enjoy telling stories, but the differences between live audiences and speaking to camera are stark. The responses to our attempt at lighting a candle have been gratifying in the extreme, and make this process enormously rewarding. Graeme Codrington of TomorrowToday very graciously hosted a combined wine tasting/storytelling session on Zoom. Graeme spoke about Catherina Ras who boldly rode out on horseback to avenge her 4th husband’s demise from a lion on Steenberg Estate. I spoke about Harry Wolhuter who killed a lion which attacked him, with a sheath knife, in the Kruger Park in 1903. This session appears on both of our Facebook pages, and served to create much interest in my stories on Patreon. Our sincere thanks go to Graeme.
With considerable easing of restrictions under Level 3, with the frost some freedom beckons. We are so looking forward to being able to move about more freely, and as I had hoped have folks enquiring about battlefield tours. For many, just the idea of being able to buy some alcohol is a special treat. Freedom should never be taken for granted, and as we all swim for the edge in our own worlds I hope you and yours find their way through, positively.