I stepped into a painting.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. I had forgotten how beautiful they are. But with my first glimpse of the Drakensberg mountains in Kwazulu Natal, it was like seeing an old friend with wide open arms after years of absence.
I love spur of the moment travel. So when my mother spontaneously booked a couple nights in the berg, I jumped at the opportunity to visit a place that I have always loved, but had forgotten how much. Our trip up to the berg was like stepping into a painting with the artist still at work.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as
sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the
storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
– John Muir
The sunny skies seemed to change in an instant. As the Winter sun began to dip, a gentle breeze blew in thick wispy grey clouds that twirled around the mountain tops and danced with orange light. Like magic, every worry in my world was whisked away; as if the wind had swooped down and swept my soul clean, leaving me light, re-energised and extraordinarily happy.
“I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly;
the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things,
it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Then the most beautiful thing happened. The sky opened up and the sun shone through, alighting the still pools of mountain water and brushing them with bursts of colour. When I thought it couldn’t get any better, little droplets of rain began to speckle the rocks and ripple the pools.
It was as though nature was giving us our own private show, with every moment, something different and something even more spectacular.
“To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower
is to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and an eternity in an hour.”
– William Blake
It’s difficult to find the words to describe this place and how it made me feel. The Drakensberg mountains, with all it’s crisp Winter beauty, liquid gold rolling hills, waterfalls, trickling streams and cyan blue pools breathed life into my soul in a way only nature can do. It made me stop, it cleared my mind and gifted me with a clean canvas; then it got to work. It splashed me with every imaginable colour, shape and detail until I was exploding with happiness! Sometimes, all it takes is a beautiful place to lift us up and out. The Drakensberg mountains gave me wings!
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown,
for going out, I found, was really going in.”
– John Muir