“I feel that my boat has bumped, there at the bottom, into something big. And nothing happens! Nothing… Quiet… Waves… Nothing happens? Or has everything happened, and we are already at rest, in something new?”- Juan Ramon Jimenez

There is a time for everything. According to the much-loved band Mumford and Sons, a time to sing, a time to shine, a time to leave, a time to stay, a time to cry, a time to love and a time to live. And if they’re saying it, then it must be so.

Now, at Londolozi, it seems the time is for abundance. We are literally watching the bush come to life.

The Mopane Pomegranates are bursting with sunshine-yellow flowers and Apple leaf trees are dusting the ground with their delicate purple blossoms that are begging to have makeshift snow angels made in them.

Mopane Pomegranate, AA, summer, flower, Londolozi, Kruger

The sunshine yellow flower of the Mopane Pomegranate. This tree goes largely unnoticed until this time of the year when it is impossible to miss.

apple leaf flowers, summer , AA, Londolozi, Kruger national Park

An Apple leaf tree dripping with flowers. The delicate blossoms coat the ground below each tree, creating a blanket quilted with petals.

apple leaf, flowers, summer, AA, Londolozi, Kruger

A close up of the Apple leaf flower. This is my all-time favourite tree. Click here to read why…

Every tree is shooting its first tiny leaves of the season. Fresh green grass is peaking its head above ground. Dung beetles, snakes, tortoises and a myriad of other tiny creatures are starting to emerge from their aestivation spots. The sense of promise and renewal is palpable.

knob thorn, tree, JT, summer, Londolozi, Kruger

The tiny new shoots appearing on a black monkey thorn tree. The viciously hooked thorns of this tree help to protect its sweet leaves from being over-browsed.

dung beetles, Londolozi, KNP

A male dung beetle rolls its mate towards a suitable spot to bury this ball of dung called a brood ball. There they will lay an egg, which as it develops will feed on the ball of dung left by the adults. We only see these small creatures during the summer months.

grass, summer, AA, Londolozi, KNP

Fresh heads of grass peak above ground since our first rains a few weeks ago. Mixed feeders such as elephants and impala that have been predominantly browsing for the last few months are now concentrating on these nutritionally-rich patches of grass.

I have been reading the work of Sharon Blackie, whose writing falls in the realm of psychology, mythology and ecology. She is a woman deeply connected to a sense of place. She believes that only when we reconnect with the land, will we be able to understand ourselves again and when this happens, we’ll remember our deep belonging to this planet.

Londolozi gives me that sense of place and deep belonging to this land and so when I look at this season, it calls me to ask myself what Nature’s masterful intelligence might be reminding us about our own lives.

lion, Londolozi, Kruger National Park

A Majingilane male lion walks through some long grass on a territorial patrol. Here it is more than the animals that speak to us but the land itself. As Sharon Blackie would explain, it gives you a sense of place.

To me it says, “trust in the cycles of life”. We are not separate from Nature and just as she has periods of dormancy or barrenness, so do we. And sometimes just the smallest shower of rain or touch of sunlight can trigger a bout of growth that causes the landscape of life to regain its lusciousness. Just take last year’s video on the drought as an example.

Even within a flourishing period, there are layers of death and re-birth. The Sjambok pod trees recently dropped their gorgeous yellow flowers, only to be followed by a shock of luminous green leaves. Old cavities bored into trees have become homes to hopeful nesting birds. Fallen leaf matter has enriched the soil that new life now emerges from.

sjambok pod, AA, flowers

A sjambok pod in flower. This is one of the first trees to burst into bloom, adding a flash of colour to the last of the winter bushveld.

A lilac-breasted roller, one of the most beautiful hole-nesting birds that we see here on Londolozi. Other hole-nesters include, starlings, ox-peckers and hornbills.

And even as we look to the sky, we see cycles within cycles; mirroring the way that every process in our life moves at different speeds. The full moon lost its weight and appears as just a sliver of a smile at the moment. As it waxes though, it will once again reach its full potential before beginning its descent to newness. What follows is another fresh start.

Where in your life are things flourishing and coming to life? Where may a blossoming be coming to an end and yet the summer season still only beginning? What needs water? What needs sunlight? And if there are places where you have reached your full potential, what new life would you like to create?

At Londolozi, we are revelling in the miraculous gifts of summer but I invite you to tune into your own rhythms and seasons as well as those of the planet. Because as Sharon Blackie says, “only then can we truly become creatures of this Earth; only then can we begin to feel a sense of belonging to it.”

About the Author

Amy Attenborough

Media Team

Amy has a rich field-guiding history, having spent time at both Phinda and Ngala Game Reserves. This diversity of past guiding locations brought her an intimate understanding of different biomes across South Africa, and she immediately began making a name for herself as ...

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31 Comments

on The Place That Makes You Come To Life

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Carolyn Whitaker

Thank you for another beautifully written and thought-provoking post, Amy. The Mopane Pomegranate photo is particularly vivid.

Amy Attenborough

Thank you Carolyn!

Denise Vouri

Amy, what a thoughtful and inspiring essay. Your words dance across the page like free-spirited fairies. Wishing you all a beautiful summer season filled with the wonders that nature brings.

Amy Attenborough

Thank you Denise. I just loved your comment- much appreciated! What season are you currently experiencing now?

Denise Vouri

I’m in Northern CALIFORNIA, less than an hour from SF. It’s Fall here, although in reality, it still feels like summer as the temperatures have been hovering in the 90’s. I’m lusting for cooler weather.

Amy Attenborough

Fabulous Denise. Well good luck with that! I hope the temperature drops soon 🙂

A B

Beautiful! Waiting for Summer…

Nickolette Karabush

Beautiful and very interesting blog. Thank You!

Amy Attenborough

Thank you Nickolette!!

Marinda Drake

Amy I love your blogs. You write beautifully. Your words are touchimg my heart. It is funny that we think it is Spring in September. October is the most beautiful month with all the trees flowering and new growth all over. I see the Mopani trees are full of fresh green leaves. I am sitting under a “rain tree” writing this. The apple-leaf is one of my favourites aswell.

Amy Attenborough

Thank you Marinda. It really is a beautiful time of year, isn’t it?! So glad that you’re in this part of the world to experience it too. What trees are flowering in your garden at the moment and have you seen any interesting summer migrants? All my best, Amy

Marinda Drake

The tree wisteria that we planted a few years ago is flowering this year for the first time. The red chested cuckoo wake us every morning at 3am. Also heard the Didericks cuckoo. Waiting for the first Woodlands.

Amy Attenborough

Ah that is just the best Marinda! Such a gift to see the blossoming of something you invested in years ago! Enjoy it 🙂

Ian Hall

A lovely post, one of my “to do” “bucket list” is to combine another trip to Londolozi with a trip to the Botanic Gardens at Kirstenbosch . A complete opposite to each other, but I think very rewarding.

Amy Attenborough

Agreed Ian! There are so many magical wilderness spots to be explored in and around South Africa! Have you been to Cape Town before? Hope to see you here again soon!

Byron Ross

Your writing about the spirituality of nature and the wilderness resonates with me. I enjoy reading them, thank you

Amy Attenborough

Thank you Byron! Forever grateful to you for being one of the key instigators in my journey with wild places 🙂 Lots of love, Amy

Byron Ross

Looking forward to following your path and journey with interest and excitement.

Callum Evans

I love this article so much! Remindso me of the inter-connectivity of nature and how even a drought has a purpose in nature (I remember reading an earlier post about this). I feel like I’ve been going through a drought in my life at the moment, with me being confused and floundering and a lot of opportunities going nowhere or being false promises. Hopefully, a new opportunity to do a camping trip in the Kalahari and Okavango will not end in nothing.

I sometimes feel like these posts are the only thing keeping me connected to the bush, or keeping me sane.

Amy Attenborough

Callum I’m so sorry to hear that! Keep trusting in the cycles of life. I hope that this post helped you to notice one small aspect at least that is flourishing in this drought period of yours. I also hope that you manage to get a trip deep into nature soon!! All my best, Amy

Callum Evans

Thank you Amy! I’m trying to trust in the fact that, like the drought you had at Londolozi last year, mine will break too and everything will be renewed. There are signs that things are changing though, my SA bird list now stands at 412 and two of my wildlife photos were catergory winners in UCT’s Wildlife Photography Competition, called Exposure (you can see them on my instagram page if you want). So I can always turn to nature for guidance when everything else seems against me.
And I may actually get that trip into nature after Christmas. What I said in my first comment about the Central Kalahari and the Delta may actually happen! Keeping my fingers crossed for my first wild dogs and pels fishing owl and to finally get that leopard photograph!!!

Amy Attenborough

Fingers crossed Callum, wishing you the best!

Harry Bauskin

Beautiful blog Amy!

Amy Attenborough

Thank you Harry!

Jodi Jacob

Thank you Amy. Your words mean so much! I never felt connected to Nature until my visit to Londolozi. My visit has changed the way I feel about myself and the world. The feelings I encountered there I keep within a corner of my soul and your words provide comfort and remind me of our place in the world.

Amy Attenborough

Thank you so much Jodi. You have no idea how much joy it brings me to here what your experience at Londolozi gave to you. Allow that encounter to flourish within, don’t just keep it in a corner of your soul 🙂 Hope to see you back here soon! All my best, Amy

Linda Polley

Amy, your words are so eloquent and descriptive. I feel your soul connecting to nature and it transfers to my soul. Love your blogs.

Amy Attenborough

Thank you so much Linda! I absolutely love that!!

Thomas Weder

thanks for this amazing story!

Lucie Easley

Amy, I love reading this, and viewing the lovely photos. I missed your two earlier blogs about trees, so I just read them. You shared the wisdom and beauty that I find in nature, but expressed it so wonderfully through words and pictures. Although I was unaware of the Apple Leaf tree, I developed great respect for it just reading your posts. I believe in the healing power found in nature and in communicating with nature. I love to have a conversation with a tree. I ask the questions and imagine the answers, wondering about the birth, the growth, the life experiences, what has been witnessed. And what it can tell me about myself. Your description of your experiences as well as the words you shared from others are much appreciated. And, thank you for introduction to the writings of Sharon Blackie. I have ordered her latest book. I’ll end with your very meaningful quote. ” There is a part of every single one of us that feels at home in nature, so allow yourself to go home every once in a while”. Thank you

D. Phillips

Thank you for showing spring revealing itself once again to the world. I love the flora. Often overlooked.
Diane

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