“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
-Henry David Thoreau, American Poet-
Listen…do you hear that? The birds sing for you. The rain washes your frustrations away. The sun bathes your skin in a wondrous glow. It is the sound of Mother Nature calling. If you’re a ‘city slicker’, you probably don’t hear her voice, but if you listen deeply, beyond the sirens, honking cars, and car exhaust, lies a place of complete and total serenity.
|Mountain Rwenzori beneath the clouds.|
My job takes me all over the big city of Kampala. I know every nook, every corner of this vast place, and I love it. But I also love the reconnection with the Earth. Being immersed in a forest brings me to the deepest essence of life. Recently during Easter weekend I had a chance to exhale and breathe deeply, voyaging to a wondrous paradise called Fort Portal. Located in Western Uganda, this small town lies right up there with Zanzibar as one of most unforgettable trips of the past year. We stayed in the picturesque village of Kifuruka. The area is colored emerald green, with the wondrous Mount Rwenzori (third largest in Africa) always hovering overhead. It acts as your north star, a big brother looking out for your well-being. The air is fresh and crisp, and as the sun sets, wisps of lavender ribbons paint the sky.
|My friends and I enjoying the view of one of the crater lakes.
One of my friends getting immersed in the Mahoma waterfall.
When night falls, as the stars awaken and the cloud mist clears, a crescent moon bathes you to sleep. My very first night there, I was deeply moved by the sound of silence. Utter and complete stillness. So still, I could hear my own heart beating. I wanted to hold my breath, as inhaling and exhaling made too much noise. There was absolutely no movement, no breeze, no recognition of air even. It was the sound of nothing, and everything. It felt like all life, and death, and beyond, was contained in one space. This was the most peaceful, knowledgeable, coherent moment I’ve ever experienced. It was heaven on Earth, the absolute bliss of nothing at all. Upon the dawning of a new day, I was immediately comforted by the cheerful hellos from frogs, insects, and birds welcoming me to a new beginning. Behold, the nurturing power of nature!
|My friend and I jumping away in the nature.|
The benefits of reconnecting with the natural world are well documented, and I can vouch for its incredible rejuvenation. The Japanese call it “Shinrin-yoku,” or a ‘forest bathing trip.’ Richard Ryan, lead author and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, says: “Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”
I can’t agree more professor!
|A beautiful crater lake in Fortportal.|
So if you are feeling the stress of big city life, peel back the layers, the frenzy, and the noise. Reconnect with the Mother who gives life to us all, Mother Nature. There have been moments upon returning to Kampala where my mind has wandered back to that simple place. Whenever the traffic frustrated me or the boda bodas assaulted my ears, I have just exhaled, and pictured myself back on that road, that mountain, those clouds, that gorgeous crescent moon. Stillness. Peace.
|All green everything.|
|I was very excited to go on walking tour in the nature.
Mother Nature calls you! Embrace her!