A week ago or so, uncharacteristic behaviour made me realise, if I have one person to fear, it's myself.
As with a car's engine indicating the desperate need for service, so too, it was high time for a soul-searching pilgrimage.
Born here, raised there, evolving into adulthood elsewhere, my roots run undeniably deep in a remote part of the Great Karoo, found among the Karee Mountain Range.
So remote that of all the places to choose from, this area is home to the SKA Project, the world's largest radio telescope.
The project is a 70/30 split between South Africa and Australia, with the Karoo receiving the lion's share because of its clear skies, high altitude and radio silence.
This endeavour will allow astrophysicists from across the world to gather enough information to study vexing issues that have been dogging the scientific community for decades.
The region is also suffering its worst drought in recorded history – a sight and moreover a spirit of desperation that can hardly be described.
Delighting in leaving as many footprints in the veld as I can during my pilgrimages, this time I was like those astrophysicists. But instead of searching for signs of life in outer space, I was growing more and more desperate with every step just to see signs of life in the tiny spaces where I placed my size five hiking boot.
The veld was quiet, literally deathly quiet. Steenbok, normally displaying boundless energy as they flee from man as their most feared natural enemy, peered at us listlessly and emaciated. The rocks on the klipkopppies, where dassies abound, appeared blacker than usual and eerily lifeless. Apart from a lonesome ant or two, even the normal activity of bug traffic seems to have ceased.
Hiking among the koppies where, "on a clear day you can see forever", to quote the 1970s movie starring Barbra Streisand and Bob Newhart, it seems as if square kilometre upon square kilometre of grazing, has become a wasteland – not a single sheep in sight, apart from tiny flocks waiting close to the road where they are handfed like house pets.
"Every time I feed them, I pray for each sheep, that they will eat and live," says a desperate farmer aged 75, a descendant of the original settlers and through tradition, knowledgeable about the seriousness of the current drought.
Rare aloes and other super hardy plants admired on our hikes, looked as if they were either burnt by a blowtorch or simply sapped of any moisture.
Soon, like one would do at a disaster scene, by default the search turned towards finding signs of survival.
Any signs of survival.
A morbid picture indeed. Especially if the mission was to seek rejuvenation for a weary soul.
Instead of feeling cheated from rest and by no means claiming to be a saint, there is one refrain that rings out clearly in my mind – a moment of silence for Mother Nature.
* There was an adjective, desperado, in Old Spanish, meaning "out of hope, desperate", but apparently it never was used as a noun and it probably has nothing to do with the English word, meaning a "desperate or reckless person, especially a criminal".