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Posts Tagged ‘African sun’

I close my eyes and I can see a world that’s waiting up for me that I call my own ……

The rain was endless and it filled our stream alongside the house. The deep vibration of the water pounded on the river rocks. I peered down into my garden and reflected on the hours of contentment my summer garden had provided. I reminded myself that I had to be patient as there was still a winter to endure. It was time to enjoy the Christmas lights that twinkled up from the garden. The tiny soft white bulbs softened the harshness of the bare plants and provided a contrast to the bright green cedar trees.  It is a source of such comfort to look down on that bit of sparkle when you are held up indoors for days on end. But this morning was different…..the rain had eventually stopped. It was time to get outside.

Our first snow…..

A vision of the one I see…..

The first stop was a morning latte and croissant at my favourite haunt. It is a cosy bakery and it is filled with Christmas ambiance.  This obviously has an effect on the patrons as a young boy leaned across at his dad and sang into his ear. “You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town.” The conversation then ensued between dad and son was what Santa might be delivering down the chimney that year. The debatable question was how ‘naughty or nice’ he had been throughout the year. This private exchange that I had eavesdropped on really brought home some of the magic of Christmas.

A touch of Christmas….

We can live in a world that we design……

It is the time when the ‘little girl’ in me is ever present. Memories of childhood African Christmases abound. Although so different in many ways, the spirit was the same. It was a time to rejoice in our family and friends. So many of those traditions have continued. Instead of bright African sun warming us as we gathered around our braai outside, we huddle around a crackling fire with the snow covered mountain tops in the distance. We still eat the turkey but instead of salads we have roasted sweet potato. This year the turkey will be cooked outside, very slowly on our barbeque. Some things don’t change! For my own sanity I try to spice things up in the culinary department. Only to be told by the family that they want the ‘tried and tested’ recipes. Not sure what that is supposed to tell me. It does not dampen the spirit…… I rush around and collect greenery from my garden and a nearby forest. Decorations are brought up from the storeroom and deliberated over for the right effect. The Christmas tree is up and the twins have added the finishing touches. It is time to reflect on the season.

The twins add their final touch to the tree.

But it feels like home…..

This year I have tried to be mindful and to keep things natural and simple. I am so grateful for the wealth of nature that surrounds me ……even though it is sodden with rain!  I find such joy in preparing my home for my family and friends. This lead up to Christmas and the anticipation of the whole family sleeping under our roof, keeps me inspired.

May your Christmas be filled with special moments with the people that you love.

 

 

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The water rustled as it rushed down past the nests and over red sandstone rocks. The sharp corners resisted the flow and the water bounced out as it tumbled into the clear dark pool below. The black eagle nests were perched right up close to the edge. The deceptive array of tumbled sticks was sure to have a soft lining of feathers for the family. It was the penthouse suite and ‘nogal’ a room with a view! The only urban nesting pair of these magnificent Black Eagles had chosen well and had the most breath taking view over the Magaliesberg Mountains. The mountains that I knew so well…..

Witpoortjie Falls, the domain of the black eagle.

Witpoortjie Falls, the domain of the black eagle.

Emoyeni (Upon the wind), the female was about 35 years old and had captured the heart of her toy boy, Thulane (The shy one). She had been taken in by this strong and silent type when her first husband had disappeared some years prior. She had pined for a respectable period and then resolutely went out and surveyed the local talent in the nearby Pilanesberg. His mysterious ways had won her over and they set up home next to the Witpoortjie Falls. What a vantage point over the valley with the added dimension of an ensuite bathroom too! Emoyeni and Thulane had raised many chicks out of the pile of sticks nest that perched on the edge of the rock face.  It stood as a testament to the brood that had once lived there. But their little angels had grown up and moved out. I gazed up at blue sky that framed this rocky outcrop. The parents were there, flying high up over their home. These ‘empty nesters’ appeared to be rejoicing in the warmth of the African sun.

A rare sighting.....

A rare sighting…..thanks to Judy Haechler for this photo.

 

I stood and stared as Thulane and Emoyeni swooped overhead with an acrobatic display of delight. What a sighting! I turned and watched them soar high above the Witpoortjie Falls. As they caught the thermals, I could feel my spirit soar alongside them.  They hovered carefree and motionless for a while, then down they plummeted across the rock face and up the other side. Those in the know maintain that this was their courtship dance.

It was both elegant and had the required romance. Emoyeni was in her sleek little black number accompanied by the dapper Thulane in his best bib and tucker! There is bound to be the flutter of tiny black wings at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens soon. Gone are the carefree days to be replaced by pyjama drill escapades into the nearby mountains to keep the hungry mouths fed. It is the circle of life……

There is a constant to watching nature and the creatures that inhabit our world.  I am always mindful of the things that remain in sequence when I return to South Africa for a visit. It gives comfort when one faces the obvious changes that have occurred while I have been away.

 

 

 

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