Sacred Combe Safari III
What the hell day is it today?
There are moments on the Sacred Combe Safaris when even the most harassed and pressured of us becomes time-rich. Sometimes these periods are close to being the best part of the trip: idle hours in a hut which has no luxury but its location: the Luangwa Valley: the finest and wildest place on the planet.
These moments come when we reach the bush camps. Here we spend five days without seeing a vehicle: walking and sitting, looking and listening. It’s just us and the bush, the days and the nights, the barred owlet calling obsessively, the impalas tiptoeing by for a drink, and the richness of life going on all around.
Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits. Perhaps the latter is the more profound state of being. Occasionally I write in a notebook. On some occasions it’s been the first stirrings of the plot of a novel, on others a line of thought that goes nowhere.
Last year, as I was co-leading Sacred Combe Safari II, I made notes for a book of spells: for a book about magic: for a book about making hidden things visible. It all began with elephants: I was so still and quiet that they walked right up to my hut, and it was as if my stillness and quietness had called them into being.
I began to make a list of ways of bringing the wild world closer to us harassed and time-poor people of the 21st century. Sometimes you can do so with the help of a bit of equipment that costs a few quid. My own favourite bit of kit is a supermarket carrier bag: place one in your back-pocket and you will be forever richer. You can see how that works in the book.
That’s because those jottings actually went somewhere: published today as Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Was of Making Nature More Visible.
Here is a clue as what the damn thing is all about.