Tag: fire

Waves and God

Ever wondered why you can stare into the flickering flames of a bushveld fire for hours and hours on end without getting bored?

Ever wondered why you can sit and quietly stare at the ocean, watching wave after relentless wave crashing down and some wistfully lapping onto the shore?


I listened to an interesting conversation during Easter that attempted to answer this phenomenon. In a nutshell it went like this: we, as human beings, are so mesmerized by the flickering flame (not because it gives “life” through the provision of heat or because it cooked the Neanderthal’s food). And we are so mesmerized by the relentless wave (not because of soothing ocean sound), but because of a very simple thing. And that is because no two flames are quite the same. And because no two waves are quite alike.

Think about it: ultimately, we know, deep down in our bones, that we (as individual) are very unique from every other single human being on this earth! I have my own thoughts, trapped in my little tiny scull – and amazingly enough, THAT human being over THERE, also has a myriad of thoughts and feelings and emotions and uniqueness trapped inside his/her body and mind!

So how on earth can I not admire the very uniqueness of the flame. A fire is such a simple thing (Neanderthal simplistic and uncomplicated), and yet at the same time it is such a unique thing! Same goes for waves – some  waves roll in with massive white walls stretching metres into the air, and then, amazingly, some of the waves following the massive waves are tiny waves which we can only laugh at. Not all waves crash onto the shore at the same speed: the intervals between waves varies – it is unpredictable. You get the point – simple, yet so unique. We don’t like predictable things: we yearn adventure and uniqueness! It is because we are so very unique.

The conversation and subsequent thoughts in my brain all converged and pointed to one thing – that God created us into these very unique beings; each with our own thoughts, feelings, desires, callings, faces, eyes, hair.

How amazingly creative is our God not!? How can we ever be bored with life when we have such an amazing Creator at the helm of our lives!?


Waves and God


The waves keep rumbling on,

Growling until they stutter and fall

Against sand: an unreachable barrier

They are relentless, unquenchable warriors

Launching assault after assault, but not prevailing

For they cannot breach the shoreline


Each wave is mesmerizing –

No two waves exactly alike

Like no two human souls are quite alike,

Each wave is made by Creator’s Hand

With uncanny and amazing creativity

With absolute attention to detail: precision


For God is the Creator of ultimate variety

Look around and behold the vast amount

Of uniqueness – billions of human souls

Billions of animals, birds, fish, flora

Billions of grains of sand

Billions of snowflakes

Billions of atoms floating around

Billions of stars


And then you want to convince me

That the universe created itself?


Written by Francois Hermanus Steyn – April 2016


Chinese Lanterns

On new year’s eve we had some epic failures at lighting chinese lanterns. The wind was quite strong on the beach and our first attempt went up in flames after the lantern moved sideways rather than up into the heavens. We decided to try again on a relatively windless night.


These lanterns are pretty much just a large thin bag with a piece of fire lighter attached to wire at the bottom. Our second attempt probably climbed 30 metres into the night sky before catching fire and consequently landed in our neighbour’s yard. That fuel block blazed like hell and could have burned down the whole of Glentana.


Third time proved to be the charm and we watched the lantern dwindle to the size of a star in the night sky.

Light's Two Faces

Chaos and Birth


Chaos and Birth


Chaos, destruction and death

  is a prelude to innovative ideas:

Lagos is burnt down solemnly and

  rebuilt with renewed vigour –

The phoenix is born from fire


Order, creation and birth

  is a culmination of efforts:

carried on the bloody shoulders

  of Man and his Determination –

The phoenix is born from ash


Chaos and birth is a mirror

  reflecting the rising and falling,

the correction of disturbance:

  Nature’s everlasting reinvention.

The phoenix dies in order to live


Francois Hermanus Steyn


Behold the Strelitzia Reginae, Crane Flower or Bird of Paradise! I framed the spikes of the flower against the backdrop of our pool and the result was very pleasing! Clear blue and bright orange seems so merry. Summer is upon us in full force (South Africa) – much to the delight of students and other people all over our country: we flock to pools and grab our Frisbees, run around and eat our ice-creams. We continue to study and stress and work our bodies and fingers to the bone, but at least we have a delightful backdrop that can easily unwind our minds and loosen our knotted muscles. Things are so much better, and more tolerable, in spring and summer without the cold and dark winter gripping and plaguing our minds. It’s no wonder that people in less sunny places tend to kick the bucket prematurely; their exit merely reinforcing the echoes of this dark and cutthroat world.

So behold the flowers, and live for the flowers. After winter a new spring will always follow (except if we completely screw over the world), with new opportunities, new life and an abundance of joy.

I just can’t wait for the year to come to an end; to reap the rewards of a hard-fought academic year, to just kick up my feet and relax for hours on end. Worries will fade and we’ll live as humans are supposed to live – free.





Wear your heart like a crown of fire

   In the cold of night, when candles die.

Share your warmth with Life’s pyre

   Give not in, to lethargic sheep’s desire.

You should not mould to foreign tongue

   But be the shape your soul does want.

Be sweet accords from angels’ lung

   And evade devil’s husky hounds’ hunt.

For too long we shackled the flint

   As we sought lost matches; soaked:

We broke down door of forsaken mint,

   Behold! A room in darkness cloaked.

Soft spoken truth is fuel enough

   To illuminate your crown of light,

With plate of peace and sword of love

   To brace us in our darkest fight.

November 2011 – Francois Hermanus Steyn


Fire = fascination.

Keeping us mesmerised for hours.

There is something very pleasing, aesthetic about these photos: the lines and twists the embers paint against starry sky, like little comets. We can easily sit around a fire for hours, admiring the simple beauty that a mere flame can bring to life.

These sparks can be muse to many: the shapes of designers’ cars, curves of bridges created by engineers, a few poems in a poet’s anthology, the musical mirth of a composer, the colourful function of a mathematician, the flowing blues lick of a rocker, a thought or two by philosophers or the backdrop to a merry gathering.

It is often that the simple things in life give us the most pleasure…