The Beetle House
It's easy to want to break away from civilisation and retreat. It's practical to pack and travel for 14 hours on a long and winding road to the mountains. It's much harder than one might think, to let it be.
It's been a week since T and I arrived at the Drakensberg. It's beautiful here and very different from what we imagined. Some days are full of howling winds where there's nothing to do but stay home just the two of us, with no internet connection, friends or family. Play Scrabble and wonder if a word is valid, and what would Google say. Make yourself a scented bath and spend half the time fishing out ladybugs that fell from their nest on the ceiling. Drive about ten minutes to higher ground with reception, just to send some important emails.
Interesting. Now thinking about it, not so long ago I didn't even own a bath, less than a decade ago I didn't own a computer, and being away from every living soul would make me feel free as a bird. And here I am, complaining.
There were also sunny days. A friend travelled seven hours to visit us for the weekend. That means a lot. A duo of cute fawns come together around the house every day and eat some of the yellow grass. The breathtaking mountains surround us eight days a week, from every window in the house. Trips to the nearest convenient store or cafe, a reminder that Coronavirus hasn't destroyed us all and a world out there exists. Sitting on the river bank and listening to the birds. Falling asleep with a book in front of the fireplace. Every little thing. I romanticise, I know. But isn't that sweet?
I love the morning silence, the evening winds, I like this beetle house. Don't ask me why. There are ladybugs everywhere, walking the wall-to-wall carpets, making you pay attention to every barefoot step and reminding you that it's always good to be cautious.
I almost wish they were there with their naivety for every stage in my life, here, there and everywhere. Making one pay more attention any time at all, when you can't think for yourself. Beetles walking around when looking for a place to stay, remind you not to be blinded by the beauty of an area, but to think about practical things as well. Beetles walk on the stove, reminding you to turn off the gas. Beetles walk on a towel before drying yourself, on a pillow before going to bed. Beetles walking around on your keyboard while booking a flight, suggesting that times of a pandemic, might be the time to stay close to home.
If I only had a little help from my friends.