African Awakening

© Lee Kemp

There is a moment when night turns to day. I have not been able to figure out when or how it happens but there is a definite change. The night sounds stop and, after a brief moment in time, the day sounds start. I have spoken to others about it. Some say they have experienced it, others shrug it off as my imagination.

I sensed it again while waiting for the dawn during the recent trip to Botswana and it took me back to something I wrote on a piece of scrap paper years before: 'There is a time, merely a moment known to a few, between night and day, dark and light, a momentary passing of time'.
I watched dawn breaking in a cloudless sky, washing the eastern horizon from a pale glow orange to a dust-smudged blue.

Shafts of light slice through the tree line, reflecting the coming African day. Filtered by wind-blown dust or dancing on rain or dew- dampened grass, the sunrise will be heralded by the morning chorus.The night chorus
Listening to the night can take on spiritual proportions. My last waking hours of the day are always spent listening to the dramas of the dark, be it absolute silence or a predator dispute. I attempt to piece together what is happening before sleep overtakes me. Often waking in the deep hours of the night I will do the same.The wilderness of Africa has always provided a rich library of night stories, but it is in Botswana that I heard the echoes of an ancient voice/story. At any time of the night there may be lions roaring from three directions, hyenas squabbling and other denizens playing out a drama.Leigh Kemp
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