The world moves so fast and we often get wrapped up in a whirlwind of a million different things. It’s not often we allow ourselves to completely relax and decompress. I came to this realisation not long ago just sitting at the desk on Varty Camp Deck. The hustle and bustle of lunch service was over and our guests had gone to their rooms for a last minute lie down before afternoon drive and I was left with nothing to do other than admire all that was around me. Over time it has become more clear how important these moments are, and how under utilised they are.
I grabbed this opportunity with both hands – the perfect time for mindfulness. I became present with my surroundings and focused on not letting my mind wonder too far. As I looked out at the never ending view I have fortunately become accustomed to, I noticed the outburst of all different hues of green. From the sage green grass covering the horizon to the olive green leaves of various trees growing taller than before. With a pallet of greens for a backdrop, I also noticed the Sand River now flowing with water. Once I had noticed this, the sound of water was all I could hear, despite not noticing it at all before. The river more often than not does not flow in copious amounts but now there is water gushing east and with it bringing a rippling sound making me feel completely at peace. As I focused on the sound of the water flowing, and then I am all of a sudden conscious of the chirps from various birds chirping. A seemingly quiet moment was actually fill of sound – one just needed to notice it.
Now I am no expert in identifying bird calls, I leave that to the guides, however that does not mean that I don’t appreciate the beautiful songs they sing. If you just pause and focus your attention on the sounds of the bush I can almost guarantee that you will hear a sound you haven’t heard before, and that’s the beauty of the bush. Even though I have been living and working at Londolozi for just shy of a year and a half now I still hear or see something for the first time regularly and that’s what keeps you coming back.
It’s amazing how many elements you become aware of when you actively bring you mind to the present. From the temperature of the day on my skin, to the the small, almost unnoticeable, breeze across the deck. Mindfulness only takes a few minutes – and so when you see an opportunity like this – I encourage you to try it.
All of these sounds and small things I am noticing finally bring me back to where I am sitting – behind the desk. I walk under the high ceiling towards the edge of the deck. I take a deep breath in of the afternoon’s fresh air, hold it for a moment and then exhale. This moment of utter tranquility is something I selfishly take for myself and let myself completely get lost in it, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Gratitude fills my body and a small smile creeps onto my face.
The next thing I hear is the distinct footprints of one of the members of the Varty Camp team starting to put out the tea time cake and refreshments and I know my moment is over. It was short lived but I know it will come around again soon enough where it feels as if the universe is taking a pause just for me to remind me of all the little things to be grateful of. I hear the voices of my guests in the distance so I switch my mind back on to work and begin again.