March 2021

Live in the now – and keep looking forward


Live in the now – and keep looking forward

What a period in time this has been for the entire world! March 2020 to March 2021 has certainly not been 12 months that any of us expected. I, for one, started the year with high hopes for great things and despite living in such a remote wild space, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt very quickly.

All of a sudden, life around me felt threatened, restricted and the future, scarily uncertain. These are not conditions that humans enjoy, however it is how life is in the natural world. 

As time went on and the pace of life slowed right down to almost a standstill, I found I had more time on my hands than I ever had. I realized how busy life had been, how much of the things I really love doing and spending time on had been so often brushed aside in the past. I started to find I was able to simply watch the wildlife around me. I observed the birds, the animals, the reptiles and the seasonal changes, I watched how each species interacted at a deeper level than I had seen before because I now had time and nowhere else to be, no other distractions to pull me away. I saw how the wildlife spent their unpredictable days finding food, water and avoiding danger... these are just normal day-to-day matters for them. I watched them spend time socializing, spending quality time with family members, interacting with other species and enjoying just being alive and connected to this earth that they know only as home. There were no signs of them stressing about tomorrow and what tomorrow will bring.

At the end of the day, life is unpredictable and we need to adapt to this, embrace change (it’s not comfortable) but it’s also not the end, it’s just the now. I’ve come to see even more that we need to keep looking forward, to embrace life itself and spend our time wisely. By spending time wisely I mean spending it with people like family, friends and even those you don't know. You can add value to someone’s life or they may add value to yours.

Our world is an amazing place, our wildlife needs to be free in order to live, and so do we. Many of us have experienced lockdowns and the restrictions imposed on our lives as a result of this pandemic, and it’s terrible - no one and no creature should have to live life locked up and restricted. As we move forward and as we see hope for our future, let’s not forget the lessons learnt during this time. The importance of the simple freedoms we missed like seeing family and friends, enjoying sharing a braai/barbeque with others and being able to get out into wilderness areas to enjoy connecting with our world and its inhabitants.

Despite the uncertainties of these past 12 months, for me it has been a time of deep self-learning, reflection and recharging. Now that tourism is permitted again I cannot wait for you all to come and join us here at Singita Pamushana where you can recharge, reconnect with the earth, the wildlife and its people, and feel inspired to embrace life again with a renewed outlook. 

So don't waste any more time - just come as you are! The fire has been lit, we have plenty of food and drink, and the best of the world’s natural wilderness awaits you to discover its wild treasures.

See you soon!

Photo by Alex Naert.

By Mark Friend
Field Guide