Route 67.

Route 67: Bathurst – Port Alfred.
I often make the drive from Bathurst along the R67 to Port Alfred and last night with the sun low on the horizon in my rear-view mirror, was gifted a glorious cloud-scape piled over the Indian Ocean. Infinite shades of grey, from dull steel to silvered feathers lay piled and painted before me. Faced with this beauty I could not help but be glad to be alive, grateful to be in that moment.
Yet this morning’s drive on the same stretch of road, I see a different scene. The clouds hang low and oppressive and a thin wind blows seaward. A tributary of humanity meanders down the hill from the ‘township’ to the Kowie River. The employed are obvious. From their determined stride and proudly worn uniforms, I know that they have a destination and the sense of self-worth that comes with purpose.
But in sheer numbers these few are drowned in a flood of desperation, depression and despair. The elderly bent double, overburdened by baggage and life. The stoic chancers, still afloat in the pool of unemployment; “Perhaps today I’ll find some work.” The entrepreneurs, the informal traders that give our streets an African feel, hoping for sales in their crowded ranks. And then there are the beggars, shambling towards, perhaps some Christian charity. Again I am grateful. I have a car, a warm bed and a roof over my head, and I return to three bouncy dogs, happy to see “dad” once again.
But I am only one amongst many.

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