Just in case you haven't worked it out, I am the one with my tongue sticking out, my little brother is on my left and my older cousin with his friend are on my right...
I remember this day at the dam in South Africa as if it were yesterday and this is just one example of many, happy, childhood memories I hang onto...of us kids, having the freedom to be kids... unplugged (mobile phones didn't even exist!) and making the most of one of natures greatest splendours... mud!
We want the best for our children and its hard not to compare our own childhood to the ones our children are experiencing these days, times have changed, technology has rapidly progressed and moved us all away from moments spent together without our phones that distract us from important little conversations and iPads to keep little minds busy so we catch up some work or prevent boredom.
At the beginning of this year we had become overwhelmed by a feeling of being a tiny part of a huge man-made machine that was operating at near maximum speed and efficiency, no time to stop off and take a breather or you would fall behind in the race against time, even if you're unwell, you just take some pain-relief medication
( 'Muthi'- as us Saffas call it ) and keep going, children and adults alike.
It was becoming clear that this 'machine' was taking its toll on the delicate balance of life on Earth, climate change was becoming a hot topic and then suddenly the Covid Crisis hit, which forced the Earth, us, to pause and reflect.
Recently while watching the South African film 'My Octopus Teacher', the producer, Craig Foster explains the feeling I felt so accurately, he describes how in the past he had spent time with the 'bush-men' in Africa and how in-tune and in sync these people's lives are with nature and how he had felt so detached and longed to feel as connected with the earth and nature as they did.
Instantly, I remembered that I had had that connection as a child, I would spend day after day in the garden barefoot, exploring, inspecting flowers and studying insects in their environment, sitting on the bank quietly overlooking the valley during sunset, feeling the warm breeze blow over me, watching the trees sway, feeling connected somehow to it all and I wandered if my children have or ever would have this feeling, growing up in such a fast paced economy driven world, where they are made to play on concrete courts in order to preserve the grass fields and avoid the mud?
And so, whilst curled up on the couch watching David Attenboroughs- 'A Life On Our Planet' last night, he closed by saying that the solution to saving our planet is to restore-or “rewild”it,.. which made me think, perhaps if we began to rewild ourselves and our children we would inevitably begin to restore the relationship and that special connection with nature and hopefully preserve and restore the earth to way the things should be for our children and our children's children to enjoy for generations to come...
VERB [WITH OBJECT] Restore to its natural uncultivated state
I grew up in what they call 'the sticks' in KwaZulu Natal, South African.