It was wonderful to visit the Pretoria Botanical Gardens, walking around and just soaking in nature. This was the first time that I have seen the waterfall (previously it was closed off to the public, but I don’t really know why).
I took the opportunity to take a longish exposure photo (the shutter was open for 1/5th of a second). This longer exposure enables the viewer to capture the flowing water in a way that makes it look like wispy strands of white hair or candyfloss. To me this is tranquility to the max:
A leisurely Sunday drive north from Pretoria took me to the tranquil Roodeplaat dam. Nature has always been a welcome escape to my sometimes frustrated and busy city sleeker soul. The spellbound serenity of the barley moving water soothes and envelopes the mind with a powerful relaxation. The peaceful afternoon hypnotizes me and I can feel all the pent up negativity slowly seeping away into the void as I completely forget the grains of sand passing through the hourglass. Mother Nature always finds a way to rinse out the soot of a busy and sometimes seemingly trivial 8 to 5 rat race that we sentence ourselves to.
As I sit in complete peace, my soul content, a few words that pop into my head: “Food is the most abused anxiety drug. Exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant”…Why do we choose to spite ourselves? It makes me sad that we can so easily chain ourselves to materialistic aspirations. Before you know it you are chasing money, success, fame, recognition and acceptance. This capitalistic game really seems trivial and juvenile as I enjoy the company of a few conversational birds, leaping fish and the whispers of the wind.
We have too many distractions in our lives – but that is a discussion I’ll save for another day.
Go on now rats: go run in your hamster wheel and scrape together that sweet nectar that is fame, success and money.
Poisonous Nectar of Life
As water is to all living things
So is money, success, fame to man
It brings cohesion of its god’s beings
The sound of coin formulates dark plans:
Soul’s – loneliness, inertia, ultimate death
Our bones rot to the core, absolute abandon
We dig unfathomable trenches
As we search for our water
We ignore the jaw that clenches
Begging us to lay down the mortar
Turn back to your family fool
What about sons, daughters?
Will you too, throw them to wolves?
To be ripped by avarice’s magnetism
By this sick fascination with ladders
Run by wealth’s different schisms
We sate our hunger with poison
We justify the rat race, deflect criticism
We fuel the capitalistic flame
With our time, our effort, our kin
Seeking out kings and queens to blame:
To justify our candy-coated sin
We keep on playing this futile game
We drown in our hamster wheel’s din
September 2011 – Francois Hermanus Steyn
The Vaal dam is freezing cold in winter, inside and out. But the respite this place offers after a hectic semester is brilliant: all you do is chill out, watch rugby, play darts, stay warm in the Jacuzzi, braai and ride four-wheeler. I’m pretty sure the chill has something to do with the large body of cool water cooling down the surrounding air – thank goodness for the Jacuzzi. Close by is a little town named Oranjeville, which basically consisted of a church, police station and liquor store. Good trip.
I think our country offers us so much beauty that we can explore and that we need to organize more road trips and stop taking our country for granted, forget about globetrotting and the Eifel Tower – just give me the Vaal dam, a boat and some skis. You can’t Google skiing with your mates on the Vaal dam, now can you? I want to travel from Durban to Cape Town, checking out the sights and sounds, stopping at little, desolate towns to share a beer with the locals. We have it all right under our noses: the big five, mountains, see, sand, the Karoo and culture that varies like the colours of the rainbow. Let’s drink it in.