Anyone who knows me well, will be aware that I have an intense appreciation for silence. Botswana is silent. There are precious few billboards shouting its capitalist obscenities at you, and lamp posts, street corners and windows get to take up their actual place in life, rather than being turned into advertising space. With all of this visual noise removed, you get to rest your eyes on the beautiful scenery of the country, the wonder that are its people, and the expanse of its skies.
There is also no obscene onslaught on your nose. Even in Gaborone, a city that compares with any other capital city in the world, you get to breathe freely. There are virtually no smokers in Botswana. You get to exit buildings without inhaling the unwanted secondhand smoke of everyone else who felt entitled to force the effects of their bad habits upon you. Few planes fly over the country, leaving little imprint on those below. The air is clean, albeit humid. Once your sinuses clear up, you actually get to smell the roses ... or whatever alternative plants happen to be in your immediate vicinity.
When we finally get to actual noise that can be heard with the ears, the silence gets even better. I was very fortunate to visit with friends who did not have a television subscription (although you could opt for the full satellite bouquet, if you chose to). Instead, they were selective with what they wanted to watch, and when, by choosing to watch DVD's on the odd occasion. This choice allowed time to play board and card games, but more importantly, it created space for conversation. We could philosophy, joke, learn from, and teach each other. The range of topics explored leaves one breathless, and the re-discovery of a friend's intelligence is an incomparable gift to oneself. Oh, that we would allow silence to re-enter our lives!
Let me share a short poem I wrote, inspired by the intense quiet and stillness of the country. I call it don't blink.
Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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