Tag: flowers

Cultivating a Garden


People’s views and ideas are seeds, ready to be swept away (spread) by the wind (dialogue and experience). In order to cultivate a garden (mindfulness) filled with various flowers (understanding of various people), one has to collect different seeds (opinions, outlooks, understandings) blown by different winds (people in different cultures and walks of life). One has to regularly water these various seeds (gain a true understanding of the person you are engaging with, through listening, asking questions and introspection. One has to challenge one’s own views. One has to rebuild one’s views as one’s ignorance melts away). This is how one cultivates and maintains a healthy and diverse garden; a garden which any visitor will feel comfortable to visit. This is a garden void of prejudice, preconceived ideas and misconceptions. This is a garden of empathy, a garden that intelligently thinks about lives of other flowers. This garden does not only concern itself with its own flowers, but includes the seeds and flowers of others.

Wondrous Faerie Glen Nature Reserve

On my way to work I spotted the Faerie Glen nature reserve, nestled next to one of the big “streets” of Pretoria. It is almost surreal to walk within this gem of nature, and I like to think of the reserve as an oasis in an otherwise bustling city.

The reserve has three different hiking trails that one can choose from and a few lovely spots like the Weaver’s Nest along the river that leisurely winds through the reserve. With a R5 coin as entrance fee, one can inexpensively spend the whole day exploring the reserve, but just be sure to take a hat, water and some sunscreen as protection against Pretoria’s unforgiving heat.


A bee sticking his face into a lovely purple flower:



Nature in the city:

Pathway 1


There are some lovely scenes you will encounter:

Pathway 2


A variety of plant life will keep the enthusiastic snapper happy:

Purple Flower


Even the lone sunflower makes an appearance:



White flowers:

White Flowers


Sometimes the trail gives way to cool and secluded dens that only gnomes and fairies can dream about:

Tree & Fungi


Weavers’ nests hanging above the cool stream:

Weaver's Nest

Be sure to check out this picturesque gem if you find yourself in Pretoria. A good way to find interesting places to visit in Pretoria is through the city’s website http://www.tshwane.gov.za/Services/Nature%20Conservation/Pages/default.aspx. Next on my list is Groenkloof (definitely going to take my mountain bike along for the ride).


A Plea to Silence


A Plea to Silence


It is in the calm breeze of Silence

  that Man can truly purge himself:

devoid of distraction he can delve,

  submit to his unique Fifth Symphony


The cogs of Life turn fervently with

  the zest of an overwhelming idea:

that into a heart it smoulders, sears

  an unbendable set of morals, acts


Hark! The Earth’s burden is doubling,

  the cracks in its foundation widening,

black sky veined with sizzling lightning

  Earth is crying for compos mentis Man


It is in the calm breeze of Silence

  that you can hear Nature truly sing

that you can witness Man’s deadly sting

  and the swollen pains of the World


Abandon your selfish ways young man

  and sit upon a terrace once Babylon,

look at the zenith of bloody sun.

  Is this peace? A blood-stained land?


Fight for Silence, tooth and nail,

  fight for the calming void, the flame

it’s there where troubles are maimed,

  burnt to the extraneous size of a pebble


Without Silence, Man is but a shadow

  to the potential locked in his heart –

the key is found when reflection starts:

  when splintered mirror becomes a puzzle


Francois Hermanus Steyn – January 2012