As I make my way once again up my beloved mountain path earlier this week, my eyes are caught by the vibrant colors of the first Spring veld flowers as they pop up faithfully through the dry grass. Bright yellow Hypericum, the hardy and plentiful Pentinisia prunalloids with their pretty verbena-like blue and purple flower heads. Hypoxis hemerocallidea (African potato plant), their lovely sunny star shaped flowers the purest yellow one could ever come across. Their fresh green sword like leaves such a contrast against the brittle dry veld grass.
These are all highly medicinal plants, and I wonder at that happenstance – that the first Spring flowers to emerge would all be healing ones.
When I first started running on the mountain, it was purely for the sake of therapy and exercise in the fresh country air. I soon however found myself paying closer attention to my surroundings. I began to take notice and learn about the beautiful natural treasures the mountain so generously offered. From the daintiest fragile veld flower – often only lasting a day, to the majestic awe of a giant cabbage tree which is probably as old as the mountain, bigger than any Cussonia I have ever come across. I discovered new paths, views and vistas, Mountain reed buck, animal tracks and birds which I would look up and try to identify.
I thought I was learning about and taking inventory of what the mountain had to offer. I was doing more than that – I was taking inventory of myself.
In observing and writing about my experiences, I am going through the process of capturing all my discordant and incomplete thoughts. I am forced to slow down, and through careful consideration, create something meaningful, encapsulating the essential elements.
In discovering the mountain and its offerings I have been discovering myself. From the deepest loneliest valleys to the highest exhilarating highs of my personal life. In this simple act of observation and journaling, I can tether myself to the page.