When was the last time you just closed your eyes, took a deep breath and allowed your system to restart? I am not talking about the computer on your desk, I am talking inner software. Do you make time to sit outside and listen to the love song of birds and simply stare into the horizon, allowing yourself to dream?
We live such busy lives that we forget we are merely living beings who also need a second to breathe in deeply. Our days are filled with responsibilities; you have to be at the gym to stay in shape, the kids need to go to school, have lunched packed, go to extracurricular activities, the dog needs attention, the cat wants milk, your other half wants a neck rub, your boss wants even more of your time, and in-between it all you didn’t get any time to yourself.
An instant refuel to any system is getting a new perspective. Where do you get such a thing you might ask? Unfortunately this is not available in a fancy ‘’just-add-water’’ tin foil packet. It is buried beneath the soil in the South of Namibia, nestled deeply within a unique combination of colors and erosion forms.
The Fish River Canyon covers in length a total of 160km, up to 27 km wide and the inner canyon reaches a depth of 550m.
When standing at the edge, and you direct your eyes over this magnificent wonder of the world, you will instantly be filled with a rainbow of emotions. Let’s focus on the inhabitants for a moment. Just by looking at the animals you can easily learn a thing or two about keeping your feet close to the ground.
The red tip butterfly teaches us a dance of freedom but also constant transformation. It shows us not to get stuck in a cocoon, but crawl out of that comfort zone, spread our wings and dance to the song of life. They are such stammeringly beautiful creatures, each with its own unique painted pastel printed wings. One quality of a butterfly you don’t have to adopt is the fact that they taste with their feet. For us it will be a rather tasteless affair.
Egyptian geese found in and around the Fish River Canyon have a whole list of lessons we can learn from. One of them is that the leader is not necessarily the oldest or a male. Lead positions are constantly shifted within the formation. This shows us that we are dependent on each other in every part of life. You cannot do everything yourself. It’s impossible.
In the Fish River Canyon, an animal that hardly ever ceases to amaze me is the Klipspringer. Their hoof structure is delicately created enabling them to literally walk on the tip of their hoof, almost ballerina like. They leap from boulder to boulder in swift, but elegant movements, to escape from predators. Even though they are only 58 cm tall, these little guys leave me in awe. On the edge of a boulder where I wouldn’t even dare to walk even if there was some kind of protective gear strapped to me, they stand proud with their chest outstretched.
Just before I decided to head back to the place I will be laying my head down for the night, I took one last look at the Canyon. I imagined myself standing exactly in the middle of it all, just like the grey heron, tracing its uniquely placed contours with my eyes. I spread my left wing and took a bow in front of this indescribable beauty. It took my breath away. I came to realize just how small I am, but also what big a part I play in the equation of life.
Even though its magnificence is beyond words, this beauty of Africa should not be regarded as a playground. To hike and explore the Canyon, you should always be accompanied by trained guides.
Do you have a special place you visit to get a new perspective on life? Leave a comment below.
Jessica Thomas is a local freelance writer. She is an eccentric young lady who has a love affair with writing. Get on board her journey of discovery.