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Spring is here in all its splendour. The mornings are bright, chirped on by a chorus of birds announcing the break of day. The light is crisp, it is as if one can almost hear the trees pushing out gentle new green. After the rain, the smell of the soil fills the evening air. The headiness of blossoms hangs gently in the moonlight. Amidst the calm, the silence is broken by gunshots from Imizamo Yethu. Another reality cracks like a whip through the softness of the evening. The two sides of the coin. The yin and the yang.

Where do I focus my heart? How do I lie in my hammock contemplating the abundance of the universe when a few kilometres away a life might have just been lost through a bullet that was randomly shot in anger?

This duality is part of our reality of living in South Africa. I see more and more people caught in the angst, not being able to tear their focus away from the existential angst, the unbearable sadness, the fear and hatred. More and more people talk about anxiety attacks that grab them in the middle of the night, or whilst navigating the chaos of traf c on our crazy roads.

We are bombarded and ambushed every time we look at our phones or computers. The climate change rhetoric has reached a point of hysteria that is almost impossible to escape. We feel trapped, defeated, and overwhelmed. Angry. Guilty.

For many older people, this feeling is even more acute. Their guilt – in spite of really having done their best with what knowledge they had – is exacerbated by a feeling that they have become a care burden on the world economy, the grey tsunami. Many have lost their sense of purpose.

Where is all this heading? How do we get to any point of stillness? How do we centre ourselves, see the wood for the trees? Is there a safe space where we can Be? My new rule for myself (I have so many rules) is to not look at my phone first thing in the morning. I get up and walk the labyrinth, raise my eyes to the mountains, breathe in the crisp spring air, listen to the birds, and contemplate kindness. My mantra is “Be still and know that I am God”. (Not God as a person, but as Divine Knowledge). Then, because it is impossible to not look at my phone, I open Instagram.

And there this morning is the most beautiful photograph shared by my friend Pete Britz. With these words by Rachel Hartman: “We are adrift, and the thinnest breeze may blow us where it will”. The photograph is of coral petals and num-num leaves floating on a stream. And suddenly it all makes sense. These “moments of articulation” (Dalene Swanson) de ne our Being. Adrift, floating through this thing we call Life, we are not but petals on a stream, we are excruciatingly beautiful expressions of Nature. That is my choice of thought for today.

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