Reunion (noun) – the action of being brought together again as a unified whole’.
For all of us here, living at Londolozi, communion with nature has brought us into a deep reunion.
This post is not going to be a long one today. I simply wanted to tell you a short story and remind you that a change in perspective can bring powerful change in your life. And so, today’s story reminds us of a few things: To pause, to get down onto nature’s level, and to see the wonders of the world through a child’s eyes.
My story begins with my 3-year-old niece. She is obsessed with rainbows and, as such, finding things (toys, games, lego and flowers) that represent all the colours of the rainbow too. She is a bright, chatty little girl and has, I’m thankful to say as her nature-obsessed Aunt, adopted a love for nature and the outdoors too. Every day over the Christmas holiday we would take an afternoon walk to the stables to go and visit all the horses and feed them a bag full of carrots. On our short walk through the nature reserve where my parents live, we would pause often to look at something interesting on the ground or in a tree, but mostly to pick our daily bunch of wildflowers – you guessed it, in all the colours of the rainbow. We wouldn’t rest until we had the full rainbow represented in our fist-full of flowers. This daily ritual – beyond the precious time I spent with my niece each afternoon – taught me so many things about my own love of nature. But most of all, about how I could access new and exciting parts of it simply by seeing it through a little girl’s eyes.
If you have ever taken a walk with a small child, you’ll know that for some of the time you’re trying to prevent boredom and meltdown. And so we, as adults, can tend to overcompensate with the stimuli. But, once you get into it, you’ll find that everything just becomes wonder-filled. Your vision changes from a general view, with the company of scattered thoughts to a microscopic noticing of the tiniest details and a deep sense of presence. Pointing out these small details brings such joy as your nature companion learns of things for the first time.
Everything from the beauty and mystery of a butterfly flitting around next to you to the silence as you stop to listen for a calling monkey or the chirping of a beautiful bird. And let’s not forget what fun it is to jump, with your whole heart, into a huge muddy puddle and feel that squelchy mud between your toes.
I found that these routine afternoon walks became anything but routine. They were extraordinary. They allowed me to look at that wilderness at a much deeper level. They reminded me about the wonder of collecting treasures from the earth. They heightened my senses and made me see, smell and feel in a completely new way.
Seeing nature through a child’s eyes reminded me of what fun it was to lie on our backs and find pictures in the clouds above us and how necessary it was to dive deep into my imagination again. It helped me to see that reuniting with nature can be done in such small and simple ways- by noticing what the grass feels like beneath your feet. By studying the veins on the underside of a leaf. By growing a pot of herbs on your kitchen counter. By stopping, even if only for a moment or two, to see the world through a child’s eyes and to understand the wisdom that they can teach us.
How will you reunite with nature today? What pictures do you see in the clouds above you? What wonder and beauty can you discover?
I hope nature gives you abundant blessings. And I hope that you have a small one in your life to remind you what bliss there is in reconnecting with your inner child.