I can still feel the river so that I am stillness and the banks move past me on either side. My eyes still search for that silver line, thick as mercury, where the river turns a corner, and drops to get ever closer to the sea.
I search all along that line for a quickening, for a break in which to steer my boat, for a place of smooth passage.
And all the time I’m searching, I’m sitting straighter in my boat and tightening my sunglasses because I will only really know when I ‘m there, when I’m right in it, and I can also see white waves splashing up. And always, as the river hastens closer to the drop, I hear that voice calling out in the whole wide sky through white geometric clouds: “There is plenty of time.”
Then we are together again, River and I, pouring beside a shiny black rock, bouncing through giant waves, coasting through speeding water. And we feel the stillness again as the banks move past so fast.
(Photograph by Paul Marais, Orange River 2016)