I think every once in a while we need to escape the grand and petty squabbles of the city, the stresses that concentrate and sap our energy, and take a sho’t left into the Platteland, where the land lies waiting and the skies are as big and as open as the hearts of the people who live below them.
“Good morning!” she said, getting out of her double-cab, in the parking lot of the Victoria Hotel in Cradock, “and how are you this morning? Is it cold enough for you?”
And then, barely waiting for an answer, she added: “Would you like some nice Karoo oranges?” As a Joburger, my first thought was, I’m being pitched, fast-sold a box of goods I don’t really need, but before I could even ask the price, she was piling oranges in the box and handing them to me with a smile.
And then, scarfed and jacketed against the chill, she waved us goodbye and went on her merry way. I don’t even know who she was, the proprietor maybe, or perhaps a supplier from a farm, but here are the oranges, my souvenirs from the Karoo, grown in the red earth and given with goodness and grace.