We come to this forest seeking sanctuary, a place to rediscover ourselves, to retrieve the pieces of us that we give away to our loved ones, our commitments and our responsibilities every day.
We come to this forest to escape, fleeing the artificial and superficial world we created and now hold so dear. A world that upon reflection, surrounded by the raw power and beauty of the forest, reveals itself to be meaningless and trivial in its impermanence.
We come to this forest to detach, and in so doing reconnect to something far greater, something more magical… something divinely spiritual.
We come to this forest to answer the pervasive call of the wild, that burns within each of us, echoing through our long days wasted behind a desk or in an office in which we trade our souls and the precious moments of our brief lives for paper and coin.
We come to this forest to reconfirm our kinship with nature and re-establish our ties with mother earth, a bond so crucial to our survival, yet one we so easily dismiss.
In this forest, our mother blesses us with her sanctum, embraces her weary children home to heal our wounds and draw from her boundless energy so that we may recharge. Refuelling us, after each gruelling week we warriors go to war with the harsh world of our own making.
As we heed her words of wisdom, ‘Live simply and deliberately’, our chinked and bloodied armour is stripped away. We are cleansed in the warm dancing waters of her tranquil pools, ex-foliated by the cottontail reeds brushing against our legs and redressed in the red clay soils that coat our skin.
As we wander and wonder in her nourishing bosom, mother breathes fresh wind into our lungs so that we may exhale the toxicity of our world. She gifts us with invaluable treasure:
In the flap of that butterfly’s wings,
In the intricate artistry of those veins of moss, growing on the trunk of that Giant Yellow-wood reaching up into the sky,
In the brilliant flash of crimson, emerald and violet of that Knysna Turaco flitting through the canopy overhead,
In the unfurling of that fern, whose head dips into the flowing mountain stream beneath us.
Amidst the splendour of her forest, she speaks to us, though we have long forgotten the language that is our mother tongue.
Her comforting words are uttered by the creaking Cape Holly’s as they sway to-and-fro in the whisper of her breath.
Her message resonates in the canopy of fluttering leaves.
Her call is taken up in the chorus of Black-Headed Orioles and the cry of Lanner Falcons as they soar amongst the clouds,
and reverberates through the babbling stream as it flows over rocks immovable.
Our wild brethren welcome us back home to this forest, asking, ‘This time shall you stay?’.
Nothing we, as man, ever design can rival the majestic beauty and the weave of mastery that pulsates through this forest. Yet we trade hours that should be spent exploring this realm, warmed in this dappled sunlight, refreshed by these cool waters and fed by the fruits of these trees. All to strive for things that, when we come to pass and return to this soil, we shall realize were simply not worth chasing.
We come to this forest to replenish our bodies, cleanse our minds and purify our souls.
We come to this forest to get lost, so that we may find perspective, find meaning, find purpose and find happiness.
We come to this forest to get lost, because getting lost is the only path to finding our way.