Mulanje: Vanishing forests

View of Mulanje Masif

Sometimes I wish I had lived a few hundred years ago. I wish I was one of the early pioneers, exploring new worlds and finding places that no-one had ever been. Finding somewhere untouched by human hands, where no path leads to and being in the thick of nature, wild at spirit, vast and overflowing.

I live now and watch around me, as forests are burnt down for charcoal and as thick, red mud slides down the charred mountain, a river of blood, of nature being butchered. The seasons and the years come and go. Governments change, policies change but the destruction  of nature seems constant. Our earth as we know it will never be the same. I see it disappearing, her beauty chipped away, piece by piece – destroyed by greed and the refusal to give back. To plant, to nurture and to protect.

And suddenly, it’s no longer a quest to find what’s new, but a quest to find what’s left.

Mulanje tea estates

“Hot summer has exhausted her intent. To the last rose and the roundelay and seed. No leaf has changed, and yet these leaves now read like a love letter that’s no longer meant.” -Richard Wilbur


“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, we fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.” -Kahlil Gibran

Flowing water

“Plant a tree in your lifetime.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind

“We are not likely to be granted another world to plunder in compensation for this one.” – Wendell Berry

Magic pool

Asleep in a forest

“Here is Menard’s own intimate forest: ‘Now I am traversed by bridle paths, under the seal of sun and shade…I live in great density…Shelter lures me. I slump down into the thick foliage…In the forest, I am my entire self. Everything is possible in my heart just as it is in the hiding places in ravines. Thickly wooded distance separates me from moral codes and cities.”
― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Deep roots

“A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest

Wild child

“The earth has music for those who listen.” -Shakespeare

Walk through tea

3 replies »

  1. Mulanje and the surrounding area has such a pleasant climate and is so beautiful. I’ve been many times and will return to climb that mountain some day with my family – I hope. I remember massive trees lining the streets. I’m sure in even these few years since I have been there much has changed. Thanks for the photos.

  2. Lianne, I share your sentiments completely. Beautiful quotations accompany your stunning pictures. When will the destruction stop? How do you stop people just trying to make a living?