Cape Town — I wake at 5 to my alarm, needing to rise early to catch the bus to the ferry that goes to Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned. Unfamiliar birds call outside.
I had thought of singing this morning in the lush gardens around this hotel, but wake to darkness outside and decide to sing under my covers to keep from waking neighbors. I start out feeling like this practice is a chore to be done today or a challenge to be overcome.
I think of the giant tortoise I met walking around the grounds yesterday. It was slow and ancient, seemingly having observed millennia of more temporary creatures like me.
After letting my singing bring me more awake, I sing a song to the tortoise remembering the distinctive click, click, click of his feet on the concrete walkway outside. Such an old and time spanning energy and such definitive and grounded clopping of feet. I’m grateful for rhythm.
As I finish today’s 15 minutes, I wonder who is the first person I will sing with on this trip.