“Grace and Gratitude” was the theme for this festive season at Christmas.
Irish poet David Whyte says it best in the following piece on Gratitude:
Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a-priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.
Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.
To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face across the table, of a son’s outline against the mountains, is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit even stranger inner lives beneath calm surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.
Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table as part of every other person’s strange world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege.
Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets and fully beholds all other presences. Being unappreciative, feeling distant, might mean we are simply not paying attention. – David Whyte
A simply sophisticated family style dinner we felt was the best way to celebrate this theme, so executive chef Anna Ridgewell and her team went all out to produce a mouthwatering Christmas Eve dinner, served on the decks of the Londolozi camps overlooking the Sand River.
Varty and Founders camp went for an earth-styled colour scheme, with reds and browns dominating the decks and the tables adorned with biodegradable crackers.
Tree, Granite and Pioneer camps meanwhile went for a more sparkly theme, with silvers and a bit more glisten being the order of the evening.
Candles lent their soft glow to everything, including beautifully crafted gingerbread houses which took centre stage on each of the tables.
Family style starter platters were the first course, followed by hanepoot duck with cherry glaze, seared salmon and prawns, which led up to the main course of Londolozi’s signature fillet of beef.
The menu was rounded off with something slightly different in the form of delicious gold dusted Italian meringue lemon tarts.
Get a feel for the evening from the pictures below…
We at Londolozi wish you all a Merry Christmas full of Grace and Gratitude!