A Beautiful Life Tapestry

Loneliness in a new country is almost a given…everyone experiences it…developing new friendships is a critical component to healthy and happy living in a new place… It has definitely been more than challenging in this smallish town where everyone knows everyone and the past presence of someone causes defenses and walls in people…but following a reigniting passion of mine…it was found… a small community of photographers here that both Mr. P (even though he is not a photographer) and we find warm, accepting and kind…

It still takes time and I have had to do my part by attending virtual meetings and outings…even when I felt like crawling back in my safe secluded shell…the art of photography is my passion…a way to savor life…a story that cannot be adequately be told in words… and now I have the chance to immerse my head, heart and eye in creating again…to blow on the minuscule embers of a past dream… I owned my own photography and art studio back in my 30’s…the dream had faded and hope dissolved when I had to sell all of my photography equipment…photography often does not provide a sustainable income for a single woman…moving onward…I finished my business degrees…and the rest is a history of working in Manufacturing…pretty far from my right-brained preference of creative pursuits…

Last month I entered photos in the club’s photo competition…after a great deal of persuasion from Mr. P…being the perfectionist that I am…I can always find flaws in the photographs that I take…but to my delightful surprise…I won two golds and a Certificate of Merit… for the Emerald Spotted Dove I took at Addo Elephant Park…

On the latest excursion with the club…we met at the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve…one of the oldest reserves here in South Africa…The area and river was named after Marthinus van Staden, one of the area’s pioneering farmers. He was also among the first to plot a rudimentary track through the valley…it is one of the best spots to see flowering proteas in season…the calm warm spring morning showcased the splendor of the Eastern Cap’s floral kingdom at its finest…

Enjoying the extraordinary diversity and splendor of the natural Fynbos, succulents and other indigenous flora was definitely the agenda of the day…even the bees were doing headstands in pleasure with the abundance of the sweetness of spring in all its glory…

There were many types of indigenous flora and fauna to indulge the eyes and nose with…but the proteas are the most numerous…proteas date back approximately 300 million years… considered to be among the oldest families of flowering plants on the planet…

Given their name in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus…Proteas are named after Proteus, son of Poseidon, who could change his shape at will…due to the fact that they have such a huge range of shapes and sizes…they are commonly called Sugarbushes, as a result of the amount of sweet nectar they produce…the reason for the excitement of all the bees

South Africa’s pride and joy…the King Protea became the national flower in 1976…The king protea is the largest species…1 of the 330 species here…btw Australia has the largest collection with over 850 different species… It has a large flower head with petals resembling a crown and can grow up to two meters (or up to 6 ft.) high. They can produce as many as 10 flower heads in a season.

The protea is an indigenous flower of South Africa…and was chosen to represent the beauty of the land and people, the aesthetic harmony of all its cultures, and the hope of South Africa flowering as a nation…also symbolizing the continuous change and gradual transformation of the variety of cultures among the people of South Africa…

A malachite sunbird finds a landing spot. Photo by Jay van Rensburg…
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We were amazed at the prolific amount of the exquisite floral beauty there was to photograph…in 2017 the flower reserve burned with a massive fire in the area…

No matter how hot the fire burns, a Protea always survives.

~Ab De Villiers

‘When we get a fire like this our instinctual reaction is to feel a lot of sadness for the loss of our flora and fauna. But this flora is adapted to burn, it needs to burn to live,’ ‘If fynbos doesn’t burn every 15 years or so we lose a lot of species, we lose a lot of diversity from the system and the system effectively starts to wind down and die. Fire is really important. It’s really a rebirth for the ecosystem.’

Dr. Adam West
Vibrant and unique…Proteas, which are a type of fynbos, are referred to as a pyrophylic or fire-loving vegetation, and in need to burn every few years to survive. Like the phoenix, they rise from the fire

Fire plays a role in germination and it also acts as a mineralizing agent. Some fynbos species will die when it burns and regenerate from seed stored in the canopy that is only released after a fire, while other species build up seed stores in the soil…Seed germination is stimulated directly through heat and indirectly through changed environmental conditions caused by a fire.

Dormant buds survive the wildfires that so often clear the dry Cape land, only to emerge once the fire has gone out. The plants are hardy and can withstand the toughest of weather conditions. One thing that ties all of the differently shaped and sized proteas together is their root system. The proteoid root system allows them to survive in soil that isn’t rich in nutrients…This thick underground stem contains many dormant buds…these will produce new growth after the fire…

May our roots be strong in faith and love so that if our world is burned to the ground, and we feel devoid of everything… we will survive and be reborn stronger and more beautiful…

Often from the ashes of who we were, we rise up and become who we were meant to be…our souls are indestructible and our ability to be reborn from the ashes in our lives will remain as long as our hearts beat…I am living proof💓…sent with love, blessings and magic for your life….

35+ Phoenix Quotes for Rebirth and Rising Up - Resilient

2 Replies to “Rising from the Fire”

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