A sandwich of nature between nurture - Day 396
A lovely day, it was like having a sandwich of nature between nurture; being out seeing the diversity of plant likes in between deep nurturing conversations.
In the middle of a sandwich of two delightful conversations, we visited Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. And what a lovely day. Clear blue sky, a gentle breeze and definitely a need for sun cream. The Gardens have such an outstanding backdrop with the eastern slopes of Table Mountain rising up behind.
There weren’t too many flowers blooming; it must be the time of year and the effects of the drought. The agapanthus were the ones that stole the show with great waves of these royal blue flowers and some white. It is South Africa where they originate from, but they have certainly made their home in New Zealand as well. We saw loads along the road verges there in February. According to one sign I read, these plants are thought to be magical and used for fertility and during pregnancy. The stem or roots are often worn as a protective charm.
It was a shame that the bright yellow flowers of the tall spikes of Marsh Butterfly lily were just finishing blooming. We read that these plants were either right-handed or left-handed. Alas, we couldn’t see the difference, perhaps we weren’t observing the correct thing. Can anyone explain?
Both our favourite area was at the Colonel Bird Bath which is fed by a natural spring all year round, bubbling up at an average of 72 litres per minute. This clear and drinkable water then flows down into the Dell, the oldest part of the Garden which was developed in 1914, amongst tree ferns and other shade-loving plants and gave us a break from the heat of the day.
One of the benefits of the Botanical Garden being located here is that they store water coming from the mountains each year and so the City of Cape Town doesn’t need to supply any of this scarce resource.
We were fascinated to read and see the Cycads, which first appeared at least 280 million years ago, the same time as dinosaurs roamed the earth. Sadly, these ancient plants are in danger of extinction mainly due to people stealing them from the wild, resulting in not having enough wild plants left to produce seeds for future generations. One Cycad, known as Wood’s Cycad, is protected by a cage. It was named after John Medley Wood who in 1895 found this specimen in the Ngoye forest of KwaZulu-Natal, and he realised that this was a rare plant. It is now extinct in the wild. Sadly, as there are no female plants remaining, this will eventually vanish from the face of the earth.
It was a lovely day, strolling around, seeing families and friends picnicking, hearing children playing with much laughter. A beautiful Sunday, a special day as it is The Day of Reconciliation, promoting unity and peace.
We got back to Green Point as saw Chris, the homeless guy, sitting on the pavement. Tim had gathered some clothes for him and a few books. He shared with me previously that he enjoyed reading and was currently reading Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits”. Quite a coincidence as I went on a 7 Habit workshop donkey's years ago and have just reconnected with one of the trainers, Earl Lynch, a very inspiring man.
I went and got some food for Chris and we sat and chatted. He seemed a lot happier today, and we talked about the nature of thoughts and feelings, how fluid, how transient they are. He shared with me that this experience of being homeless, despite many times being awful, has made him grow up, to be responsible, not be a victim and to be grateful for life and what it brings. What a wise young man. He was sitting drawing a logo for a local Jeweller, who is going to pay him for his design. It was beautiful; I so wished I had my camera on me. I have a sense and pray that he will get through this challenging time of his life.
And my other delightful conversation was with Viv this morning. I met her a few years ago, a remarkable lady. She wants to introduce the Three Principles into her work to enable the lawyers, currently stressed from overwork and having to deal with traumatic cases, to operate from a state of complete clarity and well-being. She perceives that the organisation doesn’t want fluffy stuff, they are intellectuals.
For me, the three principles are grounding. They describe our very own system of how we experience life. I have coached many engineers who don’t want nebulous fluff, they prefer facts. By understanding these three principles, they have seen through their made up thinking, seen that thought is just data. They don't need to believe it or take notice of it, When they realised these universal principles and the creation of our human experience, their stress and anxiety melted away for them. Wonderful. And thank you, Viv and Chris, for such a nurturing conversation.