Otter Trail - Knysna

I leave the anxiety of my life behind me and head for the Eastern cape. Arriving after a long drive and trying to circum to a sleepless night with the thunderous crashes of thunder and lightning and then the beating of the rain on the tin roof. Trying to surrender to the possibility of a wet and possibly challenging five days ahead.

I had made a conscious decision to earth walk into the 52 years of my life on a trail that was gentle and feminine. After a long start to our first day and the possibility of returning home defeated by the weather, myself and my two sistas decided to get to the start of our hike and then make a decision once we had looked at the rainfall predictions and checked the tide time tables, as there would be challenging rivers to cross both of them would require us to start walking in the early hours of the morning in the dark to assure our safe crossing at low tide. By now the heavy rain had subsided and instead there was a gentle rain with a hint of sun blinking through the trees.

After a late start we decided to walk to our first destination. Meandering into the forest somehow the decision to continue as we had planned to walk one of the most magnificent coastlines in the world brought a lightness to our beings. The day felt lighter, warmer and more promising. As we walked past a pond I noticed water lilies in bloom floating with their open yellow petals, reminding me to go back into my heart space and connect with myself.

An important lesson in bringing myself back into the present. One of the most important principles in the dicipline of happiness. As I took each step, I adjusted my balance to the weight of my pack and most importantly found the rhythm of my soul.

Entering the dense forest with its ancient trees and mosses was like entering a gateway of reconnection with source and self. The combination of the gentle wisdom of the forest and the thundering wild ocean, I knew that I was finding my way back to the place where I could find peace. With each breath I was feeling calmer and stronger as my body responded to the oxygen flowing through my limbs. As I walked out the dense forest mindfully navigating the rocky uneven coastline with the spray of the wild ocean keeping me alert so as not to slip on the wet rocks, I arrived at the most breath taking waterfall with fresh water gushing down high walls of rock into a huge pool. An opportunity to undress and surrender naked into the refreshing cold water accompanied by the crashing waves below us.

Over the next few days we surrendered ourselves to the water, the sun on our bodies, the spray of salty brilliance and the cacoon of the forest. Enveloped in a bubble of joy as we snuggled outside under the lapers each night like puppies, content in our sleeping bags, serenaded by the night of music provided by the sea, insects, the rain and the wind.

(Photograph - Ron Swilling)

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