Winternag ( Winters night )




O koud is die windjie

en skraal.

En blink in die doflig

en kaal,

So wyd as die Heer se genade,

lê die velde in sterlig en skade.

En hoog in die rande,

versprei in die brande

is die grassade aan roere

soos winkende hande

Walking through the dry winter veld with the cold breeze against my cheeks reminded me of the poem Winternag by Eugene Marais ( published 1905 )

He is known as one of Afrikaans ‘s greatest poets and writers. He was a political rebel, a poet and journalist. He studied and wrote extensively about nature and travelled extensively.  In his short life ( he died at the age of 65 years) he wrote many poems, but this is the one that came to mind as we walked through the bare cold veld yesterday.

(Read the full text and English translation here )

At present Pretoria is in the grip of a cold front, bringing icy winds and very cold weather. The weather in winter here is very dry causing cold frosty nights and sunny days with brilliant blue skies. As a result the veld dries up and becomes a rich tapestry of browns, yellows and rusty colours.

Trees stand bare, their branches decorated with sharp white thorns which seem to point to heaven. Seeds and dry seedpods hang heavily laden with the promise of spring and new life inside their dry shells.  Occasionally amongst all the browns a white or coloured flower or seed presents itself as a surprise pop of colour.

I felt priviledged to be able to walk in God’s beautiful natural garden and took these photos to share with you.


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