Luna ran ahead of me on the path, excited to be out on the mountain. I marched briskly behind her, the coarse, tan-coloured sand crunching loudly under my trainers with every step, immediately announcing my presence to anyone within a thirty meter radius.
I looked about, quickly taking in the scenery as I walked. To the left of me was the mountain, stretching up and into the blue yonder. To the right, was a copse of trees and beyond that, the deep, expansive ocean, stretching out to meet the horizon in the distance. The air was unusually warm for this early in the morning, and, despite the fact that I was still walking in the shade, a fine film of perspiration had broken out on my forehead.
I briefly closed my eyes, took in a deep breath and sighed it out once more, grateful for being alive.
Luna turned to gaze back at me as I topped the next rise. She tilted her head to the left as if to say, Come on, come on! What’s taking you so long? Move it already!
I trudged on methodically, passing the rear of a slew of mansions, positioned to take advantage of the magnificent view. A young couple popped into view. He was behind her – a young mother with a baby secured safely against her chest in a sling. She instinctively cradled his head in her hand as Luna approached.
Morning! I sang cheerfully, smiling warmly as we passed each other.
Morning, they replied in unison.
Luna trotted on, sniffing at the ground as she walked. Every now and again she would stop for a closer inspection of a bush or a rock, scrutinising the myriad of smells that must have been assaulting her nostrils. We rounded the next bend to find a pair of what could only be described as miniature lions on the path. Their light grey bodies were mostly hairless but this was balanced by a mop of wispy, beige hair that sprouted out of their necks to cover their faces. Their walker was sitting on the side of the path as I approached.
Hello. Good morning, I announced.
Hi, he replied, lifting his hand for a quick wave.
Luna rolled over onto her back as she always does upon meeting an unimposing stranger. slut.
I walked on before giving a short, sharp whistle and Luna came bounding past me. The path gradually wound its way around the mountain, hugging its perimeter like a garter belt on a bride to be. We climbed gradually up the next hill and the path split. Luna went left without hesitation and I followed, acquiescing to her preference.
We climbed several steps, lined with dark grey metal sleepers to prevent the path from eroding into a slippery slope, and then came upon a group of about sixty tall, majestic pine trees, swaying in a gentle breeze. I sat down on a weathered wooden bench built upon concrete supports beneath the imposing pines and breathed.
The welcome breeze washed over me, thankfully separating my t-shirt, clammy with sweat, from my torso. I watched Luna explore the new terrain with interest. She marked her territory and then disappeared behind me. I closed my eyes and was instantly transported back in time by the enchanting sound of the wind through the trees.
Memories of the soothing sound of the South Easter whooshing through the tops of the pine trees in my grandparent’s garden in Camps Bay, while I lay in bed before going to sleep as a young boy, coursed through my mind. The meditative sound grounded my spirit. My soul smiled with delight. I was pleased to have found a new happy place.