A trigger is a stimulus that evokes a negative emotion often associated with past events or traumas. These days the term “trigger” is used more loosely as something that sparks a sudden annoyance or discomfort. “Triggers” are widely understood, but few people know about their opposite: Glimmers. A glimmer is the combatant of a trigger: A micro-moment where you’re fully present, a moment of awe where you feel joy, gratitude and peace. It can be noticing the warmth of the sun, something beautiful around you, or seeing a kind face.
These “glimmer” moments can help cue our nervous systems to feel calm, and experts say this mindset shift can make a positive impact on our mental health. Now that I know what a glimmer is, I’ve been seeing them everywhere. Luckily for me, I live in a place where I’m surrounded by small moments and small things that bring me a sense of warmth and comfort every day. Below are some of my favourites that, although I see them regularly, never cease to make my day that little bit better.
The Tranquility of the Sand River
The Sand River is my favourite aspect of the landscape at Londolozi. Water is known to have a calming effect on the human mind — the sound of waves, the sight of a flowing river, or the stillness of a lake are phenomena that draw people to this natural resource. But what is it about water that brings so much calmness and serenity to our state of being?
The Sand River is the bloodline of Londolozi, it needs to flow in order to provide water and ensure growth to all plant and animal life. Water is our most basic necessity and it is so much a part of us. Most of the human body is water, with an average of roughly 60%, so it’s no surprise that we have a subconscious gravitational pull towards it. Our evolutionary history also ties us closely to water. Early human civilizations often settled near water sources for drinking, irrigation, and transportation. This innate connection to water might still influence our attraction to it today.
We see elephants walking all the time, so why is the simple act of walking so much more unique when occurring in water? Is it the unobstructed view? The elephant’s reflection? Is it because, besides hippos and crocodiles, these animals aren’t seen in their natural environments? Is it the fact that when elephants are spraying themselves they seem to be playing, and assigning this joyful emotion to an animal is not something we’re used to doing?
Or perhaps it’s something much more innate than that. Is it simply our recognition and appreciation of one of life’s most valuable resources? This resource is one of my ultimate glimmers.
Appreciating Sunrises & Sunsets
Do you know the usual saying that talks about a 9 to 5 job? In our field, it’s a 5 to 9. And being mostly outdoors for that 5 to 9 allows us the greatest gift of seeing the sun rise and set every day. Being able to make the time to stop and embrace those moments is one of the things I am most thankful for.
Even though I watch the sun rise and set every day, it does not stop me from taking a photo at every dusk and dawn. When I entered “sunrise” and sunset” into the search bar on my cellphone’s photo app, an accumulated 4255 pictures popped up. What am I going to do with these? Absolutely nothing. And why do I still continue to take photos of the sun? Absolutely no idea. But I do know that I love these moments and I’ll still continue to capture them.
It’s a fact that humans have an inherent connection to nature. Sunrises and sunsets represent cycles, beginnings, and endings —reflecting the natural rhythm of life. I feel as though witnessing these daily phenomena evoke a sense of awe, wonder, and connection to something larger than ourselves.
Sunrises symbolise new beginnings, while sunsets signify closure or completion. These small moments every day encourage introspection, contemplation, and a pause in our hectic lives, it allows me to reflect on the day or anticipate what’s to come.
Glimmers spark so much joy in such a short space of time, and someone who sparks so much joy the second you see them throughout the day is Jerry Sibiya.
Jerry is an extraordinary man, with the most positive energy woven into the fabric of nature. His knowledge of the bush, birds, and trees is limitless, but what sets him apart is his infectious laughter and an unmistakable grin that lights up the whole of the Sabi Sand. There’s a magnetism about him that not only draws you in but also instils an unwavering trust. He’s more than a guide; he’s a friend whose spirit sparks life-long friendships with every person that he meets.
From Jerry, I learnt small aspects and incites into nature that you will never find in a book. His consistent curiosity and passion for animal and human connection is something that I will always admire about him. Not a day has gone by where he hasn’t immediately made it that much better. He is a glimmer in a human form. We all need a Jerry in our lives.
Glimmers & Gratitude
Noticing these glimmers isn’t just about acknowledging fleeting moments of joy; it’s about actively choosing to focus on the positive aspects of life, fostering resilience, gratitude, and a healthier mindset. Since I’ve actively started seeking and recognising glimmers, it’s helped me to see situations in a different light and find silver linings even in seemingly negative circumstances. Start looking for glimmers and your life gets so much sweeter.