Many moons have passed since she sat on that rocky outcrop high on the Drakensberg Escarpment overlooking Limpopo province. Flat top Mariepskop to her right. The Blyde River below snaking its way into the distance to join the Olifants River and finally meander through Kruger towards the sea. The lowveld with its mixed Combretum woodland stretched out to the horizon prickly with wild energy like only this pure space can.
A Yellow-billed Hornbill calls from a nearby bushwillow while a Fork-tailed Drongo hawks for insects. In the distance the soft haunting song of an Emerald-spotted Wood dove. Down in the valley near the river a Purple-crested Turaco croaks out its familiar song. Then an identifiable alarm call as a Jackal Buzzard wings its way down the escarpment. In the distance to her left Cape Vultures circle the thermals on high, not straying too far from the colony on the cliff face this time.
This is her Hoedspruit happy place. A pure wild space that feels like home. She is grounded here, in tune with the bushveld rhythms. She is comfortably alone in this place of soul solace as she contemplates a decision that will change her life course completely.
As the afternoon draws on dark blue-gray clouds gather on the horizon. Eventually a breeze picks up bringing the distinctive scent of the storm on its way. Then the thunder starts to rumble and the lightning to flash. She is not too worried the weather will dampen her afternoon as her spot sits in a bit of a rain shadow. In the end just a few drops to cool the late afternoon as the sun westers. Her last night in this magical haven brings a close encounter with an uncomfortable troop of baboon trying to find a resting place amongst the rocks for the night. They and she have heard a leopard’s distinctive hoarse vocalisation close by.
It is so alive here, this place. It is so wild here, this place. Her Wild Heart will always be drawn back. She is connected mind, body, soul to the Spirit of this place.
On the bus back to Jo’burg later the next day, she knows what needs to happen next. She is filled with a resolve that surprises her a little. She will leave her homeland following the opportunity that has been presented to her. She will go. She will see the world. She will remain open to any and all possibility. She will let go of the only dream she ever really had to see what chance would bring.
A few months later she boarded a plane bound for the land of the long white cloud. This journey of years unlocked her wandering spirit. Her wandering took her to many incredible places and she was indeed privileged to see and experience the world – its good, its bad, its ugly, its bitter and its sweet.
As the years passed, the dream she let go of that day never left her. At times it was dormant. At times a gentle nudge “don’t forget me”. Then slowly but surely it surfaced again with a calm and quiet yet persistent “you are ready to go home”.
A year ago she got back on a plane. This time bound for home, for Mama Africa. During the many hours in those metal tubes flying above the clouds she remembered back to that day in her Hoedspruit happy place. And so she makes the same deal with the universe, to remain open to any and all possibility.
A year ago she arrived home to a beautiful welcome from everyone – the guy at passport control, her tribe, her family, complete strangers who embody the spirit of ubuntu innate to most humans in this part of the world. Even the African Wilds seemed to welcome her back with its soul solace embrace. That first night back in bush proper, this time in magical Zululand, will live in her memory always for its sights, sounds and smells. The sensory overload of homecoming.
In the year that has been since coming home, she realised why she had to leave and why it took so long to be ready to come home. She has come home knowing who she is, now understanding her Wild Heart in a way that means she can fully appreciate what it is to be given her dream back and what it has cost her.
The universe’s gift in this homecoming has been authenticity. To author a life where she can live from a place of love, not fear. To do the shadow work in a geography that reconnects her deeply to who she really is and so can keep working towards her great purpose. A place of love to learn her life’s lessons. A place of love to genuinely connect with her tribe and soul family. All under glorious African Sky Blue.
One year home….. and now,,,, new dreams, new adventures await…. 🖤