Monday, April 11, 2011

Meditative Interlude

To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
~ John Keats ~

Every now and then, it is good for both ones physical and mental well-being to escape from the everyday activity of life and to immerse oneself in the heart and soul of the natural world.  To be absolutely at peace, surrounded by mountains, sky and water and not think about any of the many things one focuses on during the course of a normal day.  These pauses or interludes break the pace and allow one to breathe more deeply and consciously and to reconnect with ones source or essence. 

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A well-placed interlude relieves the tedium and monotony of life and reminds one of ones place in the greater scheme of life.  Little troubles and niggles assume insignificance.  Greater ones are relegated to the recesses of ones mind for a short while, allowing a reprieve from worry and concern.  Sit a while and allow your mind to rest as you breathe slowly and deeply, in and out... 

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!  ~ John Muir ~

As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.  ~ Stephen Graham ~

Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail. ~ Hamlin Garland ~

Smile, breathe and go slowly.  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. 
~ Standing Bear ~

These images were all taken today, at Wemmershoek Dam in the Drakenstein Mountains of the Western Cape. We will soon be entering our rainy season and the dam,  now half full will gradually start filling up.

The vegetation, dry and parched after the long dry summer months will turn into a lush green wonderland, seemingly overnight and as Spring approaches, the fynbos will explode into vibrant colour. We are entering one of the most beautiful times of year in the Western Cape.  It will be cold, as this is our winter time, but we will enjoy many glorious crisp days with clear blue skies and perfect lighting.


  1. More wonderful photos! Such amazing landscapes. It must be glorious in the spring, from your description, hope we get to see it again.

    I keep going back to look at that very first picture. It's so beautiful.

  2. Mannnnnnn, when will the scientists invent that teleportation machine so I can whisk myself away into that beautiful place?.......

    Great comments......thanks.....

    Toby....don't know when I will post about him upcoming post will explain how my life has been changed when my 32 year old granddaughter moved in with Dad and me last Thursday. (CLUE: she is not alone).kt

  3. Amazing photos as always, Desiree! I love the quotations on today's post. The family are out visiting the other grandma, so I'm taking this opportunity to catch up on my friends' blogs! It must be lovely for you to know that you have one of the most beautiful times of the year coming up. I expect we shall see lots of phots!

  4. The pictures are stunning! And your words poetic! Lovely, simply lovely!

  5. O my o live in a beautiful country darling..........i will save for a you have two beds foor sleep for us ???...hahahahahhhaahahah!! love love

  6. Your pictures remind me another poem

    To Autumn
    John Keats

    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
    Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

  7. You must live in some beautiful area because each post seems to outdo the previous fabulous post! I feel so dull saying the same thing, but, your photos are beautiful!!! (I also feel a bit uncultured because I'm a stranger to most of the poets you quote.)

  8. You have done yourself proud once again. How can you go on like this getting better?

  9. I found myself tranported into another world! - lovely photos, and the words were very well matched.

  10. Hi Desiree! It's been a bit since I've visited and I'm so sorry that I took so long! Your pics are breathtaking and also so true. Nature can take us away from our troubles, clear our thoughts and renew us. Thanks for the lovely trip!

  11. You live in a gorgeous part of the earth! I love the peace and life connection to heaven I feel when I'm in it! I love this post.

  12. Desiree, your posts have a wonderful way of bringing a sense of peace to this troubled soul. Peace, beauty, caring, humanity, set on a backdrop of this magic world in which we live.

    With much warmth,


  13. Those beautiful mountains just pulled me into this magnificent photo!!! What a fantastic job!

    Yes, I unplugged the computer several days ago due to a bad storm but I just left it lay there dead for several day and enjoyed the warm weather we had. It felt goooooood!

    God bless ya sweetie and have a fabulous day!!!

  14. I am excited to be discovering how beautiful your land truly is. I never tire of looking at the gorgious scenery you have for us.

  15. Your photo's are reminding others of poems and writings they have read and I think that is wonderful. I am dancing up and down waiting for your SPRINGTIME. It has to be amazing!
    The only thing I know of Africa is what I have seen in movies and read...and having you show these photo's that are NOW are....ok..I'll say it! Thrilling! Yes, they are also moving because they are of a place I only see in my mind. *sigh*

  16. Beautiful photos!Silence and a little well-times solitude are so healing.

  17. What beautiful photos! Did you take these with your new camera?
    Your posts show a side of your country I never imagined. It's breathtaking.

  18. AAaaaaaahhhh...thanks for the relaxing interlude...beautiful scenery...quotes and words to ponder on...
    (i just happened to have meditative music playing in the background from perfect early morning combo!!)

    thanks Desiree! inspiring, as always! :]

  19. I'd seen your new post in the updates last night, but waited until now to read it. I'm glad I did, because while sipping my hot cocoa, it relaxed and woke me up.

    I was amazed at the photos, with the tall, ageless mountains and soft slopes at the bottom. What a perfect place to find one's ties with nature and oneself!

    I'd love to visit there one day, you make it sound like paradise.

  20. You're pictures are breath taking as usual! It's such a breath of fresh air for us city slickers!

  21. In such a lovely place, you live! The mountains are absolutely magestic. How could one not feel tiny in their presense?

    Lovely photos and quotes. I'm so glad you had this little interlude. It seems you are like me and love all the seasons. We are in the first warm days of spring here and it's hard not to smile at the sunshine and blue skies today. We'll have a lot of rain as it's springtime, but also we have daffodils and lilies coming up, tulips in full bloom, and all the trees are budded and ready to explode into life.

    I'm glad to get to experience two times a year at once, through your blog... and also the mountains since it is very flat here in the midwestern US.

  22. That is so beautiful! I would love to sit and be still, soaking up the quietness and peace.

  23. A lovely change of pace in a beautiful land.

  24. Thank you Desiree - your pictures and choice of words are so peaceful and, well, simply delightful. Much appreciated.

  25. You have such beautiful wide open grand spaces to enjoy, Desiree!
    Invigorating and yet so peaceful at the same time!

  26. I love the lakes and mountains and your photos are stunning. Thank you for sharing Desiree!


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