25 May THE PLACE OF PEACE
Lindani – A Place of Waiting … with great expectations.
“A solitary bench at the foot of a small rocky ridge, facing a wide flood plain below, stands at the Place Of Peace. Here you may sit with yourself and get to know yourself.
Its beautiful simplicity defies human ingenuity and imagination, and makes it almost inconspicuous, but it is a place of refuge where a searching heart can wait and contemplate about life undisturbed except by the lonely cry of a Burchell’s coucal. Its a cry that enters the recesses of the heart and wake up memories that you thought had long ceased to live there.
A few steps behind the bench are ancient moss covered rocks with narrow ledges and dark recesses, out of which various trees have grown over the years, but ready to offer rock solid back support to the peace supplicant. They too keep away the view of the encroaching grass plains above and the ubiquitous sky above. They provide a beautiful shade of compassion, and the rare privilege of being listened to and understood.
An alcove formed by the ancient rocks and a thick canopy of a forest fig tree and tall tapering Tamboti trees give the place a permanent sense of deep quiet and calm. It lies in the silent shadows for most part of the day; listening with deep concern to the plaintive murmurings of our hearts and all the implacable heavy things that time, perhaps in her haste and impatience, had left there unattended and forgotten.
Out of respect the sun keeps a healthy distance because the dense canopy of trees only allow a few shafts of light to enter. Light and shadow are therefore inextricably intertwined into a gentle dance of compassion and deep empathy. And in the distant flood plain where the grass rolls in the gentle wind, our thoughts may roam with the small impala and wildebeest herds, learning again to trust the provisioning of providence… and perhaps to dance to the rhythms of Africa’s pounding heartbeat.
We all need a special place to be alone with our grief and thoughts. Sometimes to be alone so that we may express our gratitude for a life well lived, and perhaps undeserved. And sitting here at any time of day allows us to bask under the restorative power of trees. The soft spoken trees – the trees that can listen to us – trees whose shadow penetrate the heart and understand everything…. and heal the bruises on our souls.
It is such comfort to see the supple branches of the forest strangler fig tree rising up with strength and keeping the world at bay, allowing us the space to bring the entire cosmic healing powers to find us and assure us and help us to find meaning and purpose in our lives.
It is a special place – a sacred grove – a place of retreat from the world – facing the flood plain on the foothills of the Waterberg; where love finds us again and gives us a tight embrace.”
Copyright belongs to Ralph Sibande. He can be followed on Facebook HERE