African Roadkill

Singe vers Toucan.JPGHa, ha only joking…but it was a close call. How many people can say, ‘well I was driving back from …….. and I almost ran over a monkey!’. That’s what happened to me yesterday afternoon. It leapt out from the bush and in front of the car. Fortunately I wasn’t going very fast and was able to slow do enough to avoid it. I wish I had my camera with me (how many times do I say that to myself when I am here, I should learn my lesson and have it with me at all times). I’ve included a photo here of a similar model.

Last night I was in bed by 8.30 and slept like the dead, but not before I had a huge panic attack about Rob. He is in Bon Echo at the moment for the long weekend. It is one of his favourite climbing spots. The Canadian Alpine Club are having an anniversary celebration up there (50 years, I think, if not more) and many of the people he has been climbing with for years will be there. His new climbing partner Tim is also going.

Part of what makes Bon Echo so beautiful is the fact that it is entirely surrounded by water. All the rock comes directly out of the water and you get from place to place on a boat. It is very remote and there is no way of comuunicating with anyone once they are there.

Climbing is not an unsafe sport if it is done properly and Rob is very experienced. However I do worry sometimes as there are many tales of dramatic fatalities that happen as a result of climbing and not all of them involve beginners, if you get my drift.

Last night for some reason (maybe tiredness) I was suddenly gripped by a terrible fear that something had happened to Rob. Try as I might to rationalise it, I couldn’t. It doesn’t really happen very often but in such a situation I would usually pick up the ‘phone, hear his voice and know that everything is OK. I can’t do that this weekend. You can’t call someone when they are in the middle of nowhere and nobody who he is with would know how to contact me here in Gabon. He isn’t going to be back until late tomorrow night.

As the panic attack progressed I started to think about what we had said the last time we spoke, what had we done the very last time we were together? We hadn’t argued but we were both tired and a bit distracted. Right in the middle of that maelstrom of emotions I think I learnt at least some of the value in what Buddhists call ‘being in the moment’, in other words, appreciate, enjoy and be aware of every moment of your life because you won’t get it back.

In the cold light of day things don’t feel as desperate, but I am still counting the hours down to tomorrow night….

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