I flew halfway across the world last week. Starting in the west I flew east for 22 hours and went from the northern hemisphere to the southern. My daytime became night and within a day Spring turned into Fall. Everything changed.
This Autumn evening has a cold nip and as I write, a fire crackles in the grate. I sip African Red Bush tea and in the background are the distinctive deep baritones of South African men. The way the light falls, the sounds, the rhythm of Africa is so different from the Northern hemisphere that I left behind just a few days ago. My body has taken a knock. Time zones and long flights and sleepless nights have taken their toll.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I could simply give in and allow the disruption of change to paralyze me. But, I have important work ahead.
I breathe deeply.
I re-enter slowly, giving my body time to adjust.
I go for long walks in the nearby nature reserve, feeding my soul with the beauty of God’s creation.
I take photographs, leaning in to my creative side. This energizes me.
I find solitude.
I give myself time … and grace … and care.
The vast expanse of our garden on the southern tip of my homeland has become a confidant and a friend. I tip my head back and look high overhead for the two eagle owls that live in the tall Oak. This noble tree is the heartbeat of our garden, her gold and red autumn leaves a playground for a family of squirrels.
From our front lawn, I see the Helderberg Mountains peer down at me from their majestic heights. A sunny spot at their feet has become my chapel where whispered prayers are offered from a full heart.
There have been many changes over the past week. I find that change no longer energizes me the way it did in my younger days. Now I find that change disrupts me. Yet, the lover of my soul remains constant. The Lord is the one to whom I turn. I seek solitude. I find Him in his creation. It is here, in the beauty of holiness, that disruption turns to peace and my soul is restored.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2