I’m going to share a secret with you.

It’s not a big, juicy, scandalous secret.

It’s a small one.

One that you might already know something about, if you are one who listens to stillness.

My secret is not one that I have been hiding away, hoping that it will never get out.

It is the kind that a child will tell you, behind the safety of a cupped hand as their eyes dance while they whisper it into your ear… from their mind into yours, with the sole purpose of sharing something special.

It’s a soft secret. A secret full of love and possibility. One full of hope…

It’s a still secret. A quiet one. One that would stand aside should even the gentlest of zephyrs make its way past.

My secret is that you can find whatever it is that your heart desires. You can find it in nature.

You can find it in the way that the light and heat dips and rises as a cloud floats in front of the sun.

You can find it in a moment of contemplation that comes from taking in a mesmerizing view.

You can find it in the halo of gold that cocoons each blade of grass as the sun slowly crouches to greet the horizon.

You can find it in the rhythmical rise and the fall of the rosettes of a resting leopard on a hot day.

You can find it in the shade of a Jackalberry Tree or in the laughter of a stream.

My secret lies in stillness. It lies in that moment of pause between an exhalation and another inhalation. It’s a secret that the wilderness has taught me this week.

If you come back to nature, if you return to what has guided us all these years so far, you will return to your own essence. In this life, we can get caught up in looking to the outside- to everyone else, to the needs of those around us. And while this is kind and thoughtful, we can neglect our own needs and inner peace in the process.

Nature’s teaching is that we cannot pour from an empty cup. We cannot be of service and provide benefit to our neighbour when we are not taking time to be still, and to be of service to ourselves. Nature shows us how to nurture and regenerate our surroundings for the betterment of all organisms. She shows us how everything can grow in harmony, and how there is always enough of everything, for every sentient being, right in that moment nestled in the pause between out-breath and in-breath.

My secret is, in fact, not my own after all. It has found its way to me through stillness, and it belongs to nature, not me. Through quiet contemplation, I have found that, just like the vastness of the wilderness, I am only a messenger of secrets.  I am, luckily, a storyteller whose cup has been filled by nature, allowing me to continue to pour.

About the Author

Amanda Ritchie

Creative Hub & Marketing Manager

Amanda joined the Londolozi team early in 2015 & immediately took the Londolozi Studio to an exciting new level. Her unflappable work ethic & perfectionism are exemplary, & under her guidance the Studio has become one of the busiest areas on Londolozi. The ...

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44 Comments

on A Secret Found in Stillness

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Sammy
Guest

Beautiful piece
I love it
Well Done

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks so much for the comment, Sammy. I am so glad that you enjoyed reading my post!

Anne Andrews
Guest

WONDERFUL and very true.

Amanda Ritchie

I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post, Anne. Thanks for the comment!

Linda Polley
Guest

Amanda,

That was beautifully written and touched my soul. One of my favorite Londolozi connections.

Amanda Ritchie

Ah, thank you so much for the wonderful comment, Linda. I am so glad that my writing connected with you!

Lee
Guest

Just what I needed to hear this morning!

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks for the comment, Lee! So happy that I could provide a slice of Londolozi for you : )

Ed Hubbard
Guest

I read the Londolozi blog religiously, every day for the past six years. There have stories and photo that overwhelm me. Nothing I have read compares to this brilliantly written piece. I have felt what you have described each time I return to Londolozi and I am already booked to return and revitalize in May 2018, to celebrate my 80th birthday….I can’t wait. Thank you for expressing so well what I feel when am there.

Amanda Ritchie

Hi Ed. Wow – thank you for this wonderful comment. It makes us so happy and content to know that Londolozi means so much to you. I am so glad that I could send a piece of this beautiful place to you to experience, and hope to welcome you back to Londolozi next year for your birthday!

Michael & Terri Klauber
Guest

Thanks Amanda for the special reminder and for sharing your secret! We will see you soon!

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks for the comment, Michael & Terri 🙂 Looking forward to welcoming you home very soon!

Frances Fearnhead
Guest

Brought tears to my eyes ! Thank you.

Amanda Ritchie

I am so glad that this piece moved you, Frances. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Byron
Guest

Wonderfully written blog, I think you captured the essence beautifully.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much, Byron. : )

Susan Strauss
Guest

Beautiful, Amanda

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks so much for the comment, Susan!

Peter Ritchie
Guest

Mouse, a lovely piece..!!
Here’s something for you…’Pied Beauty’ ( a leopard)
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brindled cow:
For rose- moles all in stipple upon trout that swim:
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls: finches wings:
Landscape plotted and pierced – fold, fallow and plough:
And all trades, their gear tackle and trim.
Gerald Manley Hopkins.
With love , Dad.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you for the lovely comment and the beautiful words in return. : ) Hope to see you back here soon!!

Martina Welch
Guest

A gorgeous and moving piece. Stillness is so very hard to capture anywhere but Londolozi. That’s why I need to return in 2018.

Amanda Ritchie

Hi Martina. You’re right… stillness is hard to find, but not impossible : ) Imagine Londolozi and all her beauty and you will be transformed back to stillness, and back to Nature! We hope to welcome you back to Londolozi next year!

Earline Rochester
Guest

Beautiful and the stillness can be felt in your photos. Thank you.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you for the kind words, Earline. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos as well : )

Mary Moy
Guest

A very emotion stirring post, it is amazing how, as you say, the gentlest zephyr can transport you to a favourite place or a flash of a memory creeps up on you.

Amanda Ritchie

I am so glad that this piece transported you to a different place, Mary. That’s all that a writer could ask for! Thank you for reading.

Chuck Illig
Guest

Just Beautiful LookforwRdto it ea night and will return!!!!!!

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much for the comment, Chuck. We look forward to welcoming you back to Londolozi in the near future!

Bronwyn
Guest

Such magic, wonderful noticing…thank you

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you for the comment and kind words, Bronwyn. I am so glad that you liked the post. Thank you for reading!

Alison Smith
Guest

What a BEAUTIFUL read! a reminder to keep our watering cans full in order to nurture! thank you for the reminder Amanda!

Amanda Ritchie

I am so glad that this could be a small reminder to you, Alison. We tend to rush through our days and put everyone else first without noticing that we might be getting lost and forgotten ourselves. It’s a reminder to do something small, each day, to fill up your own cup. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Lea
Guest

A very profound post Amanda. Love the poem by your Dad also. As the saying goes “you have to stop and smell the roses”. Too few of us take the time to just take a walk and pause in nature to drink it all in. I appreciate the things that Mother Nature brings. Thanks for this beautiful blog.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much for your kind words, Lea. I totally agree that we neglect to take the time to just ‘be’ most days. It’s a simple (and sometimes quite difficult thing) to do, and yet can have such a huge effect on our lives and wellbeing. Thank you for reading and commenting!

sandra harmon
Guest

I REALLY like this-it is a reminder to pause in this hectic life! “MOTHER NATURE” can heal our troubled body and mind! A beautifully written piece.

Amanda Ritchie

I couldn’t agree more, Sandra! I completely believe in the healing powers of nature, and I’m so glad that this came through for you in my post. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Evette Hartig
Guest

Our lives are so filled with chatter what I love most about Londolozi is sitting with nature and absorbing it in silence, there is little we can say to improve it.

Amanda Ritchie

Ah, Evette, that is a beautiful sentiment in itself… sitting in nature and absorbing the silence. I agree that it is difficult to find something more important, or a space more improved than that of the wilderness of Londolozi. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Rich Laburn

Wonderfully written and very poingnant to mediate upon.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much for the comment, Rich. : ) I am glad that I could provide some meditative space for you with this post.

Dawn Phillips
Guest

Here in my kitchen, thousands of miles away and I felt the power of your words. Made my world stop for a short while to soak in your meanings. Wow, beautiful.

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you so much for the kind words, Dawn! Being able to transport a reader to somewhere completely different with their words is all that a writer really asks for. Moreover, being transported to a different place for a few moments is the essence of stillness, and the practice of being present and aware… so well done! Thank you for reading and for the lovely comment!

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks so much for the comment, Sammy. I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

Amanda Ritchie

I am so glad that this piece transported you to a different place, Mary. That’s all that a writer could ask for! Thank you for reading.

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