Life at the Lodge Part 7: Magical moments

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
Trip End Jul 01, 2013

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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Monday, June 18, 2012

When you live in a place as magical as Magical Mtentu it is hard not to classify every moment as magical.  But every once in a while, a really special moment happens.  The kind that you should write about right away.  Just small things that you wouldn't necessarily think to record or capture but that are such lovely moments.  Sadly most of them came and went with the wind, and I didn't take the time to write them down.  They are fleeting and some have fleeted.  Some of them are so tiny... like seeing a beautiful petal hang in mid-air for a moment while it blows past you in the breeze or the warm feeling of a dog falling asleep in your arms.  We don't take the time to write about this stuff. And I feel like I should.  Because these moments are really what make up the fabric of life wherever we are.  All of these tiny happenings and feelings.  I will share just a few particularly magical moments from my time at Mtentu.

Every time I was lucky enough to drive in on the dirt road from town around 4 o'clock in the afternoon was a magical moment for me.  The light was perfect at that time of day and draped over every rolling hill and rondovel in sight.  There was a spot we called the gates of Mtentu.  Two big rocks on either side of the road.  As you drove through them you turned a corner and for the first time on the 2 hour drive you could see the sea, and the entire Mtentu community.  This whole area would be shining with the most stunning colours.  The grass was like a work of art.  It took my breath away every time and I was reminded how lucky I was to be living in such a powerful and special spot.

Another one: One perfect evening as the sun was just starting to go down I returned from a gorgeous run and set off to my favourite place at the lodge - the solar showers.  These showers are set into rocks on the edge of the camp, and have a perfect view of the rocks and sea.  They are open air and are heated by the sun's rays.  That day I poured myself a glass of red wine and took a few pieces of amazing organic, fair trade, BC chocolate that Mom had sent me at Christmastime and headed over to the showers.  I drank my wine, ate my chocolate, soaked in the warm water and watched the sky change colours over the ocean as the sun was going down over the river behind me.  It was truly spectacular and I was fully content. 

I was feeling really shitty and emotional one morning and just couldn't shake my funk.  Bridgette convinced me to go for a run on the other side of the river.  It was such a crappy day - windy, rainy, just gross - but I knew exercise was the only thing that had any chance of dealing with my mood, so I went.  We took the boat across the river and ran for 4km through the nature reserve to Strandloper (the waterfall mentioned in the Adventures post).  Magically when we got there the sky opened up in a perfect circle above us and the hot sun poured through.  It still looked like it was terrible weather everywhere else, but where we were it was hot and glorious.  We decided to stay there instead of running right back, so after doing some yoga and exercises in the baboon cave looking out over the waterfall we went down to the pool, took off all our clothes and jumped in.  We swam over to the smooth slanted rock that has a view of the waterfall and spent the next hour or so naked tanning.  It was pure heaven.  We wanted that moment to go on forever and ever.  Once we swam back to our clothes we decided we needed to warm up so we found a new place to naked tan for a while before finally putting our gear back on and running back to the lodge.  (It turned out it had been cold, rainy and windy at the lodge the entire time we were gone). (Oh... and yes, my bad mood was good and cured).

One morning I woke up way too early, but I was wide awake.  So I went off for a wander and scrambled my way over some rocks down to the ocean.  The tide was out enough that I could actually get to the beach that way, which I'd never tried.  So I walked along the seashore until I scrambled down the last set of rocks to the beach.  It was such a lovely morning.  I felt like I was the only person in the world.  I stood on the expanse of white sand, did a few yoga poses, and then couldn't resist the temptation of the azure blue ocean and the crashing waves, so I took off my clothes, ditched them on a rock high above the incoming tide, and ran into the ocean to swim and play in the waves.  I was probably very visible from various viewpoints, but I was oblivious to anybody else's existence.  It was one of those moments where you fully become one with the element you are in.  What a perfect way to start a day. 

PS. Sorry there are no pictures with this post... but really in most of these stories I'm naked...
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Ann Jacob on

Dear Maia - you capture the thrill of living in nature - the magical fleeting and long lasting experiences of being one with the beauty and mystical wonder of life - - - - like when we lived on the Stikine River in Tahltan Territory - the view walking to our cabin took my breath away every time my eyes rose to meet it - it is beyond comprehension the magnificence of nature and I love that you have time to experience that amazing connection and healing power and magical mystery of the earth . . . thank you for capturing these lovely moments - - may we find a way to preserve enough space for our great grandchildren so they too are able to connect with the presence and magnificence of nature as herself. Love . . .

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