Going to start by saying dreams really do come true.
It has been a while since I posted here. In this post from January – Adventure Awaits – I set an intention for 2022, this year of my dreams. Here is what I wrote:
A little post to share some big plans for 2022. It is time to focus on my passion project – Pure Spaces Education. Launched a year ago, my goal this year is to begin the journey from passion project to purposeful career. For more on this please see my latest blog post on the Pure Spaces website – Anticipation. I hope to keep the Pure Spaces blog updated during the year as adventures planned and unplanned unfold. So there won’t be many posts here at this stage. However, I will still keep posting images that inspire me along the way on Instagram @dragonfly.travelling. So please do follow me there for a peek into my 2022 adventures. Adventure awaits and hope floats 💚
I am floored reading all this through again in the context of the last nine months! Let me bring you up to speed…..
The first few months of 2022 turned out incredibly stressful with all my best laid plans for adventuring back to my homeland faced some substantial obstacles. And unlike my usual behaviour I had no plan B. My resilience and sense of hope were certainly tested during this time. But I was following my Dreaming Practice. These dreams for the year and beyond were carefully written and safely stored in my Dream Tin…. And so I tried to keep the faith that I was on the right path.
I arrived back in South Africa at the start of May to an unexpectedly warm welcome from the immigration official that left me sobbing with gratitude and relief. I was welcome home.
Then I went to Durban to meet up with one of the most incredible humans I am honoured to call my friend – Carla Geyser. I am utterly grateful to the Universe for our paths crossing. So much of what has eventuated these past months as dreams come true is due to being part of Carla’s tribe.
We spent all of May on the Rise of the Matriarch expedition, what I am now calling my Magical Month of May. Lots of reflections on this magic on the Pure Spaces blog:
ROTM 2022 – Genuine Connection
ROTM 2022 – Phinda & Pangolins
ROTM 2022 – Bittersweet Pongola
ROTM 2022 – Bees, Trees & Ellies
ROTM 2022 – Grace of Education
ROTM 2022 – Tracks Less Travelled
This phenomenal Journey with Purpose was followed by three months completing a wildlife conservation research internship based on Karongwe Private Game Reserve near my Hoedspruit Happy Place.
Much of my reflection about those months at the GVI Limpopo base goes around Coexistence. But there was more to it in the end. This is what I wrote in those last days of the internship in my family and friends update:
What a rollercoaster these past months have been. I was so ready going into this to keep my armour in place. To matter-of-factly get what I needed from this internship and experience. I knew I would struggle with the communal living. I knew I would struggle with constant noise and other people’s energy interfering with my equilibrium. This last bit landed up being even harder than I anticipated. But what I realise now sitting here and reflecting back on the past months is that this place broke me open in a way I have not been exposed, probably since childhood. The most real version of me made a very rare appearance in all its too-muchness, in all its weirdness. I have danced again, I have sung again. I have belly laughed and ugly cried. And, you know what? I am okay. Nobody rejected me, nobody hurt me in my vulnerability. In fact, quite the opposite. I have made soul connections here I certainly did not see coming. Because it seems this particular environment means true colours shine through and true humanity is based on kindness and compassion when we are most raw and most vulnerable. I have learned so much about myself, again. About further developing resilience at your most vulnerable. About genuine connection. A reminder that no matter how much along the path of personal growth and awareness you think you are, the journey is never done.
Not to mention all the absolutely mind-blowing wildlife encounters and pure wild space sojourns I was privileged to experience during this time in lovely Limpopo.
As if this year could not hold more adventure, I then got to spend September on two separate road trips with Anam Cara (soul friends).
The first with an unexpected kindred spirit…. One of those letting it happen moments. We both took a chance on sharing the road from north Kruger to KZN and it turned out to be exactly what each of us needed. Two old souls (and extreme birding nerds 😊) who have finally met in this life…. to be continued…
The second adventure was a long-expected reunion tour to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park fifteen years later….one of those making it happen moments. We had talked and planned this adventure so many times only to have some reason it could not work, even to the very last minute this time round. But we got there and it was magical and breath-taking in every way. We laughed and cried as we wandered down our memories. We laughed and cried as new memories were made. Our firm friendship established fifteen years ago, confirmed and strengthened by a return to where it all magically started.
Lots of highlights shared on Instagram for both these glorious September Wanderings.
My heart is full. My cup runneth over. All I have related in this post so far speak to Dream 2 – Wellness and Dream 3 – Belonging in my Dream Tin coming true.
I am writing this story in a reflection moment forced on me by those challenges that life throws your way from time to time. But I am grateful to have this time in a peaceful spot in my hometown surrounded by precious family. Remember that whole thing about the balance between making things happen and letting them happen?
And so to Dream 1 – Home. So much of the detail of this dream goes around what I wrote about in my Pure Spaces blog post – Anticipation.
“2022 is about starting the journey of progressing Pure Spaces from passion project to purposeful career. So no more day job for me. Throwing this Big Dream out to the universe.”
That purposeful career I was dreaming of is taking shape right here in Mzansi. From October I will be working for an organisation at the forefront of wildlife conservation in Africa. An organisation I have long admired and fan-girled over. I am beyond thrilled at this opportunity. It means I am directly contributing to the Conservation Collective I have been on the periphery of for so long. It means I get to resettle here in my homeland at the coalface of the boots-on-the-ground wildlife conservation work I have been so passionate about since childhood. It means I get to be close to my tribe of free spirits and Anam Cara so further adventuring can occur. It means my soul soars and my heart sings.
Dreams do come true.
But is it all rosy and easy, this dreaming lark? Most definitely not. There are some things you have to understand going into this practice. I wrote a bit about it in the first blog on Pure Spaces –
“In the Okavango I learned about paradox. I learned about unconditional love. I learned that the sweet always comes with the bitter and vice versa. I learned that we cannot have it any other way or we would never grow. It is the Nature of existence.”
I wrote about it again in a recent Instagram post for Heritage Day –
Happy Heritage Day, Mzansi 🖤 Looking through recent pics to choose one for this post I catch my breath and tears well…. I have always felt a deep connection to this land where I was born. My incredibly privileged life’s journey has taken me many places around the world, but to have returned and reconnected with the pure wild spaces of my natural heritage these past months is a gift beyond expression…. the open roads that go ever on, the big skies, the light and colour that shift mood and magic each moment of the day, the unfathomable night sky, the hum of life everywhere you go, abundant birds, bugs and beasties – wild energy prickles all around, beautiful people with open hearts and generous spirits…. the bitterness of the struggle that is living here awakes your soul to the sweetness of what it means to be living in the spirit of Ubuntu…. my free spirit soars here like nowhere else 🖤
I think the Big Dreams we have come with a price. The price is letting go of all you think you can control. The price is vulnerability. The price is being willing to be broken open and your raw humanity exposed. The price is trust in a benevolent universe. All of these only Ego will see as a price. Your heart and soul will see it differently….. growth and connection and freedom…. So if you’re willing to risk it…. Dream 🖤