We walked in groups in the sprawling forest that clung to the foot of the mountain. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbours gathered for the hike, trampling over pine needles and tripping over knotted roots. Animals squirreled out of sight and up into higher branches to give way to the invading human swarm that was us. We picked pine cones from the musty ground and plucked out the nuts. Tasting sweet and tangy on our childish tongues. Grown ups carried baskets full of baked chicken, corn on the cob, green salads and garlicky bread. We stopped to eat at the stream that bubbled and whistled over pebbles and crawling roots.
Summer’s sun winked
through tree tops.
Smiles and chatter.
We were all together.
I remember a massive community hike in what I think was the Newlands forest in Cape Town, when I was about seven or eight if not younger. The hike ended in a picnic. I remember it as one of the most spontaneous and memorable occasions of my life, as it was a spur of the moment thing for me. I suppose that is what life seems like for kids who are unaware of the plans adults make and find themselves in surprising situations.
In my memory, I clearly remember a lot of pine trees and pine cones. They are not indigenous trees. Settlers to the region created pine plantations that still form a large part of the forest.
The featured image shows what the indigenous forest looks like, more lush and tropical-looking.
Shared with dVerse for their haibun Picnic prompt.
***Images from wikipedia