Beyond Any Singing of It

Our first term of school officially ended last Tuesday, so five of us teachers decided it was prime time to pack our bags and head to the coast of the Papuas.  Our vehicle – pictured below in all its glory – was a trusty old fire truck:

And despite the never-ending trail of potholes along the way (which made the 125 mile trip take no less than four hours), it was a wondrously grand journey.

I wish pictures would do some justice to the landscape, but since they do not, perhaps the opening words of Cry, the Beloved Country will.  It’s a book about South Africa, but the landscape it describes is almost identical to what we drove through this past weekend:

“There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it. The road climbs seven miles into them, to Carisbrooke; and from there, if there is no mist, you look down on one of the fairest valleys of Africa. About you there is grass and bracken and you may hear the forlorn crying of the titihoya, one of the birds of the veld…”

“The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and the mist, and they seep into the ground, feeding the streams in every kloof. It is well-tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed.”


12 thoughts on “Beyond Any Singing of It

  1. Oh wow, Alan! The landscape is gorgeous! Glad you could take a wonderful road trip with what looks like such fun friends!

  2. So, so beautiful!! New book: “Alan’s Drives”, with one of the chapters, “Alan Drives a Fire Truck”. I can’t wait to hear all and see all the adventure. Love.

  3. Gorgeous landscapes – so glad you get to experience it and can share it with us. (Also glad you have your internet back – ha!)

  4. The end of a term? Wow, that’s quick. It’s crazy to think our midterms are approaching… Time do indeed fly. Fantastic landscape!

  5. Hey, Alan!
    You know how, when you get pulled over in Birmingham for speeding, the local law enforcement officer asks you “where are you going so fast, to a fire?”?………….

  6. That’s what I’m talking about!… nice scenery

    Should we assume that you made it to the coast of the Papuas because I don’t see any pictures with water?

    Why aren’t there many trees on the mountains?

  7. mM! They need one o those signs: “Canoe the Papuas”
    Grass skiing wouldn’t be too shabby either, methinks…

  8. Ha! Yes, it’s all too marvelous for pictures. As for where we went, it was a city called Lae, on the east coast (though that’s an elusive term, since Papua New Guinea is shaped longways).


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