Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see- Mark Twain
I can’t quite believe my eyes. Returning home to Londolozi, the landscape is transformed. Lucky Shabangu, who is driving me back home to Londolozi seems bemused by my delight but I have never seen the bush after rains and only ever encountered it in a drought. So this is a feast for my eyes and over these last few weeks, my soul.
The thirsty dry wilderness l left just over a month ago is ablaze with green. Not just your ordinary average green but a beautiful, luminescent, vibrant, juicy green that signals renewal and fertility. There is new life everywhere. Young nyala graze behind their mothers, newborn vervet monkeys and baboons are being carried by some patient and some not-so-patient mothers and it’s hard not to interrupt the flight path of at least several butterflies as you walk about camp.
It is truly incredible to see dry earth burst forth with dormant, patiently waiting life. It has me thinking about how we as individuals also go through seasons of drought in our lives where we long for some nourishing rain. A metaphor that I believe can be extended to massage. Touch therapy or massage is now well recognised as a vital component of accelerating the healing process. Many studies have shown that massage therapy can increase the growth rate of premature babies as well as improve the wellbeing and cognitive function of the elderly suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia. So it goes without saying that it is a wonderful complimentary therapy for your average person. Not so much a luxury but an investment in wellbeing. In the Life Department here at Londolozi, all the therapists are nurturers at heart because you don’t last long in this line of work if you don’t have an innate desire to care for people. We all find great satisfaction in what we do. Many of the guests here are arriving from very busy, pressured lives and are met by the embrace of the bush which instantly encourages deeper breaths and elevates the mood. This makes our work a lot easier because you’re in an environment designed for rest and relaxation. It encourages one to slow one’s pace, to simply be and to welcome the eternal flow.
We are not sending guests back to traffic or households but instead they remain in a cocoon of care as they return to their camp from the treatment room into the care of a kindly Camp Manager who will no doubt be encouraging a libation of a different yet none-the-less medicinal sort. Even better, some slip from their massage bed on their private deck straight into a beautiful outside shower or blissful bath in their room. So I like to think the nourishing effects of the treatment last much longer. One of my deepest satisfactions is the look on the face of a guest after a massage where some of the stress of the world has fallen away and an inner glow of reconnection with self and calm has been restored. Words are unnecessary, instead there are shared nods of gratitude and an age old human connection.
We, much like land need rains. Rains of care that include massage, a simple word of kindness, a hug, a sweet kiss or even a shoulder squeeze. These small acts feed us. Touch that asks for nothing breaks down walls. The good news is we all have hands and words and the power to bring some relief to the drought we see in others… So go on- break someone’s drought today. Who knows the change you might just start to see in the landscape of your life.
Filed under Life
Lovely post! No wonder you are so good at what you do. Years ago, on my first visit to Africa, my first safari lodge was Londolozi where I had the best massage I have ever had!! Was it the location and the state of mind it induced? ~ certainly a huge part of it, and undoubtedly also the skill of the masseuse!
The traditional English way to break a drought involves 22 men or women wearing white going into the middle of a field. Nine then depart leaving two men or women to face the remaining eleven. One man (or woman) then runs up and throws a round leather ball at three sticks which one of the two men or women try to defend with a bigger stick.
When it gets interesting another man then sticks up a finger, the rain dance has been completed and the announcement is made “Rain stopped play”
Excellent writing, I very much enjoyed reading your blog today.