Good story Jemma and it shows that each person relaxes and connects to nature in their own way. Will in the cold bath, Amanda in het veggie garden, Jess by the Leadwood tree and environment. For me just to sit outside and watch the clouds moving, listening to the birds calling, and in the evening listening to my owls calling each other. Great satisfaction inside of me when I hear them and see them flying.
A Nature Reunion Ambassador is an individual from our very own Londolozi Family. Someone who, on a daily basis, interacts with the reserve, the wildlife and the elements and who truly understands nature and how intertwined it is with their being. If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen that we have introduced our first three people.
What fun it’s been interviewing the Londolozi Family and discovering their unique ways to connect to nature. Here are our first three Nature Reunion Ambassadors who you might recognise from your trip to Londolozi or from the blog…
Will Ford, Operations Manager is Our first Nature Reunion Ambassador:
Will’s insight into how to experience a nature reunion is cold plunging in the Londolozi Healing House‘s freeze pool. Will says this process wakes up everything in side of him and heightens his senses. It is something which he loves to do after exercise for the anti-inflammatory and metabolic benefits.
“I find a cold plunge with three rounds of Wim Hof breathing makes me sleep sound at night. This has become my daily morning routine or before hot evenings in the boma.
My mornings spent at the plunge pool are so quiet and peaceful. Everything is still and calm as the sun starts to rise and filter through the trees. After a while you begin to hear the monkeys, squirrels and birds all start waking up.
The water is so cold it forces you to focus on nothing else but the present moment. It strips you right down and gets rid of your ego and any distractions you use to protect yourself. It leaves you with just yourself and the nature around you. It is a mind clearing experience and something that allows me to become completely engulfed in the natural world in a single moment.
This process starts to wake my body up at the same time as the natural world wakes. With every sound and sight you begin to become as alive as everything else around you. There is something so beautiful and healing in this synchronicity” ~ Will Ford
Our next Nature Reunion Ambassador is Amanda Ritchie, Marketing Manager:
Connecting with nature has always been Amanda’s soul outlet. She’s not the best in big cities, and she actually gets homesick for natural spaces. She has found that the beauty of nature is that there are so many ways in which you can connect with it.
“My greatest joy is to get into my garden (particularly my vegetable garden). If I have had a busy day with lots on the go, the ultimate way to ground myself and connect back in with the earth is to literally get my hands dirty and potter in the garden.
Everything from amending soil to collecting rhino dung for my compost heap to tying up new tomato leaf growth to sewing new seeds that will eventually grow into a source of food for me and my household – it all just brings my attention back to nature, back to the earth, and – most importantly – back into the present moment.
Gardening is a powerful form of mindfulness, and an afternoon that turns into dusk spent in and amongst my vegetables – quietly speaking to my plants and coaxing them along in their growth – is something that fills me with deep gratitude, and one of the best ways I know to reunite with nature on a daily basis.” ~ Amanda Ritchie
Jess Shillaw, Londolozi Ranger is up next:
When we asked Jess how she connected and reunited with nature it was a simple answer for her… she takes a solo drive to the Leadwood Forest, which is situated in the northern part of Londolozi. This forest, for her, is a type of portal to beauty and transformation.
Once I’ve arrived I stop on one end of the forest and walk barefoot to the other end to help ground or earth myself. This walk takes me towards, what I like to call, the “guardian of the forest” or “sisters of the forest”. This is where a Jackalberry and a Leadwood tree have grown intertwined and are merged at the base of the tree- sharing knowledge and nutrients with each other.
The best time to do this is just after sunrise or just before sunset when the sun is level with the forest and the sun rays shine an ethereal light through it. If I get there at just the right time the sun is perfectly positioned behind the two bonded trees making them glow.
I become aware of my surroundings. I feel the course soil below my feet, I hear the wind blow softly through the leaves above me and I smell the elephant dung from a herd that had passed through a couple of hours ago. As my senses follow the flow of the forest I begin to melt into it too. I find a healing stillness and peace. The silence and light take a hold of me and the rhythm of my breath becomes in sync with the forest. I become aware while walking in the forest, that I have the same purpose as each species around me.
I’m aware of the leaf that flickers above me and the soil below me that holds the forest. This is my reunion with nature – a continued friendship with the forest.” ~ Jess Shillaw
It’s been a wonderful and fascinating process gathering this information from the Londolozi Family. There are many more individuals to come… stay tuned.
Thank you so much Valmai, I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog. It sounds as though you have a wonderful way to connect to nature too. I also love watching owls.