#WATWB The Octopus Teacher

It always catches me by surprise how fast the last Friday of the month arrives! At this speedy rate 2022 will be here before we know it.

The last Friday of the month is the date on which bloggers from around the world post an item of news that caught their interest, that is/was uplifting, and that helps to lift the gloom in these trying times. This one certainly did. A South African documentary afterall! Filmed in the beautiful False Bay off Cape Town shores. It IS Good News, not only for the award it deservedly won, but also because of it’s message – an excerpt below.

“What has been most exciting for us as an organisation has been the feedback. We have received thousands of messages from people around the world. Many have started diving, studying marine sciences or using My Octopus Teacher as a tool in mental health workshops,and in discussions around emotional ecology and deep nature connection.
We wanted to showcase this wonderful ecosystem, the Great African Seaforest, to the world, and we have succeeded.”

I hope you read the full article –

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month – a skeleton staff this time round. Do pop by and say hello. Their stories are bound to be uplifting. And as always our thanks to Ashlynn Waterstone who works behind the scenes to keep us up and running.

<a href=”https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/“>Sylvia McGrath</a>, and <a href=”https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/”>Belinda Witzenhausen</a>.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well. May the month of May be a blessed one. May the Force be with you all.

#WATWB I’m Staying

It’s the last Friday of the month yet again. The function of these good news posts that bloggers from around the world put up faithfully on the last Friday of each month, keeps me sane in a world gone mad. These sorts of good news stories remind us of the humanity of people, their willingness to step into the metaphoric (in this case literal) traffic and help another.

There’s a movement in South Africa called ‘#I’m Staying’. So many are leaving this beautiful country for safer shores – we’ve become a gangster state, the Rainbow Nation so called by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is shattered. Mr. Nelson Mandela’s dream is as if it never happened. But when we hear of the willingness of people across all races helping one another, we know that the political big wigs dirty tricks of using race to drive a wedge between ‘the whites and blacks’ will not work (though much of the time sadly they do – factions within factions).

Kerry Wilson: 24 February  · So never did I ever think I would have my very own, #Imstaying moment… yesterday afternoon I was on the N1 Highway in heavy traffic and my car decided that’s it, she’s giving up and the clutch went just before Rivonia road, with me stuck in the middle lane… as I don’t do panic very well, I sat there and just cried and had people hooting at me, swearing at me, trying to pass me… no one willing to actually help me. When suddenly out of no where there is this lady at my window and she says to me mam, don’t worry, we are firefighters and we going to help you….I was bewildered, this group of people stopped behind me, jumped out their car and stopped traffic on a very busy highway for me…. then proceeded to push my car across the lanes till I was safe, not only that they stayed with me till my husband arrived to save the day and tow our car to our wonderful mechanic Colin Schnaier who has now fixed my car and is ready for collection.I would just like to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Penny Mabaso, Dudu Ratlhogo, Matome Moila, Thabang Skhosana, all from the City of Johannesburg Emergency management services. You guys were my hero yesterday and I cannot thank you enough!!! — with Penny Mabaso and 3 others.

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month; https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/ Sylvia McGrath

https://www.godyears.net/ Roshan Radhakrishnan

http://shilpaagarg.com/ Shilpa Garg

https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/ Eric Lahti “https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/ Belinda Witzenhausen

Do pop by and say hello and check out their stories. Get a shot in the arm of uplifting news. Plus the other shots I hope you’re all getting. Below are guidelines and a link at the end should you wish to join on the last Friday of each month .. pinched, copied and pasted from Eric Lahti one of the co-hosts – thanks Eric!

~~~GUIDELINES~~~
1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.
3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
6. To sign up, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.
This is a Blog Hop!
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

May the Force be with you. Have a great April. Chag Sameach and Happy Easter wishes to you all.

Equinox

from google

Days are becoming longer, nights shorter in the northern hemisphere, the official start of Spring; shorter days longer nights here in the summer hemisphere. So easily noted by the lengthening shadows earlier in the evening, sunrise dawning later and the leaves turning golden …

How quickly everything happens – we arrived in Johannesburg last evening from Plettenberg Bay (about 1300 kms away) after overnighting at our favourite place in the Karoo.

My friend Nicki travelled by car with us up to the highveld (2000 mtrs asl). She’d flown down to Plett from Johannesburg just over a week ago to come and stay. I fetched her from the airport and we stopped in at a nursery for coffee and where there is a labyrinth, which we both walked.

It was wonderful to show her how and where I live and take her to the places I like to visit and to see everything with new eyes. She was the easiest guest. I reckon her gift to us and to me especially is that I felt comfortable with her, I was just myself, peculiarities and all, which she took in her easy-going stride –

a long walk on Keurbooms Strand, oyster catchers having a chat
Keurbooms beach
The Arch on Keurbooms – a long walk to reach, keeping in mind a river to cross there and back –
colourful rocks on a walk

On another day, we went to Bramon Estate, the venue where my son David and his wife were married 5 years ago on her 25th birthday, on 19th March. (Jüte turned 30 yesterday; they are celebrating both events at a very fancy game lodge in the Sabi Sand over this weekend. I will TRY to put up a little video they sent me of one of their game drives). But Nicki and I stopped in at Bramon and had a glass of Bramon bubbly in their honour!

A very full glass in the middle of the day
Nature’s Valley-deeply forested
Another day – Sky Villa, just outside Plettenberg Bay.
The lagoon close to where I live in Plett, the sea on the other side of the dunes.
praying mantis on balcony a few evenings ago

I mentioned earlier in this post that we stopped over last night in the Karoo to break the long car journey. It’s the loveliest place, a working sheep farm in Springfontein. Delicious Karoo lamb for dinner. Those stars were so bright, as was the newish moon. Orion’s Belt and the Southern Cross were practically pumping in their brightness. My husband saw a shooting star as I as was looking the other way. Lucky fish!

We’re staying in our ‘old’ townhouse in Morningside Johannesburg which Dave and Jüte are now living in! They’ll be back tomorrow from the bush. My husband leaves from here tomorrow to go the Drakensberg for an annual golf tournament. Dave & Jüte fly down to Cape Town on Tuesday, my husband back from golf on Wednesday and the plan is for us to leave on Thursday for a private game farm up country. No sooner are we back from this, it will be time to return to Plettenberg Bay with the car loaded with ‘stuff’ that Dave & Jüte want removed. It’s all a little too hectic for me, especially as I write this on the Equinox which is always a reminder of the necessary pause for balance as the seasons change.

Roses picked from townhouse this afternoon – they speak the language of all seasons –

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well. May the Force be with you all.

#WATWB cleaning communities

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It’s the last Friday of the month, the day on which bloggers from around the world post a story that seeks to uplift, showing humanity in action. Here in South Africa where we’re pretty alarmed at our dysfunctional government steeped in corruption, and in among the mess where municipalities are not serving their constituencies, it is heartening to see communities taking action and cleaning up their villages, towns and cities.

Kranshoek is about 10 kms from where I live. Jeanray is pictured here.

May be an image of 1 person, playing American football, outdoors and text that says ""Kranshoekis is beautiful community and want keep clean the health children who play outside ndthe people who live here. It's good for the community the impact that cleaning up can have." -Jeanray CHICAGO 36"

He now heads up the weekly clean-ups in Kranshoek. Jeanray has stepped up to try continue the work that Quinton Snyman started in the community. Quinton served the community in so many ways. Always on duty to help others first. Jeanray says: “Kranshoek is a beautiful community and I want to keep it clean for the health of the children who play outside and the people who live here.It’s good for the community to see the impact that cleaning up can have.”

We have volunteers who do similar clean ups on a regular basis right here in my town of Plettenberg Bay. Bags were collected in less than an hour near Lemon Grass Boutique hotel where many people live in the bushes. Photo of Alison Bryant and her amazing team ‘Keep Plett Clean’.

May be an image of 1 person, standing, outdoors and tree

Do pop by the co-hosts this month to read of uplifting stories and share on social media.

a href=”https://ericlahti.wordpress.comEric”>Lahti</a>, <a href=”https://www.godyears.net”>Roshan Radhakrishnan</a>, <a href=”http://shilpaagarg.com/“>Shilpa Garg</a>, <a href=”https://gardenofedenblog.com/“>Susan Scott </a> and <a href=”https://professorowlsbookcorner.com/“>Sylvia McGrath</a>.

If you want to share your good news of an uplifting story, follow this link to sign up here: https://bit.ly/3aSG3qL

Thank you for reading! Have a great March and may the Force be with you.

Aging

I do not know why I’ve never noticed this before. My husband bought it some while ago, and since he usually loads the fancy washing machine with all it bells, knobs and whistles, the message in the bottle passed me by.

A very nice organic, locally made moisturiser, affordable. I like it, but why o why anti-aging?

How this fell into my lap the other day I do not know – photo below – I barely remember my 21st. What I do recall is that my mother attended – she had left the ‘family home’ a few months before to live up in Johannesburg, leaving me and my father in Somerset West, in the western cape – about 20 kms from Cape Town. But, she flew down to attend this formal occasion. If I TRY to remember about it, I was probably overcome that my parents were together. It was several months after my 21st that my mother agreed to return home and work things out with my father. On condition that the house was sparkling clean on her return. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. But as soon as I could, I left them to themselves. One day I’ll tell the story in a blog post. I wrote about it in my first book, in an essay entitled “The Opposites”. They were so opposite to each other in all ways …

Time flies. Every day a new day. Life in Plettenberg Bay is beginning to feel more settled for me. My husband is mostly in golf heaven, does Pilates (I think) with his NBF early mornings once or twice a week and goes for coffee and swimming in the sea afterwards. Also gets out and about with NBF on their bicycles in the early mornings, coffee and swimming afterwards.

I’ve had a few swims in the sea … it was two weeks back that the beaches were UNbanned. Such bliss, that sea … of course I get tumbled this way and that – my ways of catching the wave are unique. I must get the body board out and play some more (pretend I’m 10 years younger).

Our art classes re-started at the beginning of February so that’s a real plus. We looked at Miró a week or so back and somehow this style is helpful to me in sketching my dreams –

And pottery is my new love. Very new for me. I wonder if it will become a passion. Creating beautiful objects. I’m very excited to see how my current ‘piece’ will turn out. It’s drying as we speak at the pottery studio. I like my teacher. We wear masks … not so wonderful …

I’ve made one or two friends. I’m not sure any of them enjoy walking, one has a heart problem, the other a tricky hip. The other I don’t know well at all. I like them all. Two are recently widowed. A very good friend of mine does such a lot of travelling, she’s hardly ever here but when she is, we go on long beach walks .. (longer than I would on my own).

My younger son Dave and his wife left Cape Town about two weeks ago and are now in our townhouse in Johannesburg. He sent me this photo while driving through the Karoo.

and awaiting them was a very lush garden. Johannesburg and surrounds have had so much rain in the last few weeks … he sent me this photo –

To keep on topic of aging – is this a dinosaur tree? My husband and I went walking the other evening and took a different route. I’ve seen this tree before quite a long time ago …

On another walk a few days ago we saw this tortoise behind a fence at the nature conservancy down the road from us. I suspect s/he is an oldie – check out its beautiful markings …

The other evening I listened to a podcast in which Laura London of Jung Speaking interviewed Dr James Hollis, Jungian Analyst of his latest book “Prisms’. It was a delight to listen to. He will be 81 this year. He said in the interview that he’s been repeatedly asked to write or lecture on old age, and of course in his books he touches on it, but in the interview he said he’s too busy living and working, learning and loving to worry too much about aging in spite of being on treatment for cancer.

I had to smile inwardly at that. Such a great attitude.

I like this quote from him as it pertains to a widening of the lens as we grow older: ‘Our experience subtly alters, even distorts, the lens through which we see the world, and the choices we make are based on that altered vision’. From: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

Another photo or two – the hydrangeas from my son Mike’s garden here in Plett, and the yellow rose from my friend’s garden.

I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, in spite of all the hardships that the virus has brought in its wake. Things are extremely tricky on all fronts here in South Africa. It’s quite lawless, the law and the constitutional court is being shown the middle finger by those in positions of power. Most days, Dorothy Parker’s words come to mind ”What fresh hell is this?” What else is there to do but hope? And pray. Remaining realistic at the same time even if it doesn’t look good. I am not optimistic about the future of this country, very sad to say.

Nevertheless, and this is hopeful for me: there seems to be more of a receptivity of feminine energies being recognised and incorporated into the masculine ones, each to the benefit of the other. The patriarchal reign has been a long one, at the expense of the wisdom of the feminine. Repressed, these energies are now flowering all over. Women’s voices are being heard at last, and women who did not know they had a voice are finding that they do.

Last photo taken yesterday, a walk on the beach, son Mike and the 2 oldies –

A long post I know … thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well. May the Force be with you.

#WATWB Beyond Walls

#WATWB Beyond Walls Land Art

It’s the last Friday of the month of this year 2021, which means bloggers from around the world post an item of news that is uplifting in these very difficult times.

This one caught my eye, not only because this extraordinary land art has ‘landed’ in Cape Town, but for what it represents – ‘… unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints …’.

Using tons of biodegradable paint the artist Saype (Say Peace) has done several very large frescoes across the world, eg the forecourt of the UN in Geneva, with a message of togetherness. The Mother City, Cape Town, South Africa represents an essential step of the project due to its history marked by Apartheid. “Beyond Walls” symbolises the breaking down of political and social barriers among communities with the hope to further encourage positive dialogue. It forms the largest human chain in the world. The one in Cape Town has installations of land art in Cape Town itself as well as in two suburbs, of two forearms clasping each other.

For the fuller story, please see the link below.

Cape Town, Sea Point

Our co-hosts for this month are below. Please check them out for a good dose of positive news, which helps negate the darkness, and spread the message on social media using the #WATWB

SylviaMcGrath https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/

Simon Falk https://simonfalk28.wordpress.com/

Shilpa Garg http://shilpaagarg.com/

Mary Giese https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/

Belinda Witzenhausen https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well wherever you are and may the Force be with you.

It’s full moon tonight (Thurs) so here’s a photo I’ve just taken

Solstice, travels, lockdown –

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything. I was in Cape Town to see my sister mid-October. I saw a few friends, somewhat curtailed on account of bad flu (was concerned it might have been covid) right in the middle of my 12 day stay. But it was lovely. My sister looked after me so well, chicken broth, just like our mother used to make it. I have to post a photo of Table Mountain which I took while there – an unusual view of it from Rondebosch when I went walking –

We drove up to Johannesburg from Plettenberg Bay at the end of November overnighting in the Karoo to break the trip. We usually stay at the same place, a working farm. It’s the first time we’ve stayed there at the end of November; usually it’s February or June/July/August. All was so green.

Prior Grange Springfontein Nov 2020

The purpose of the Plett-Johannesburg trip was two-fold. One, our corporate rental had come to an end, so we had to consider what to do about the townhouse. The second reason was to see a few medical specialists, all now done and all in order. The amazing thing is that my son David who lives in Cape Town with my daughter-in-law Jüte, both want to come and live here! So they’ll move in at the end of January probably! David was here for several days while we were here – 3 gigs inter alia – and fell in love with the townhouse all over again. Photo below is from my Johannesburg study. I suspect David will turn the study into his studio – and Jüte will make a name for herself as a highly qualified chef, as she already has in Cape Town.

garden lhs, cut roses on rhs which I gave to a friend in the complex

We’ve seen friends and it’s been wonderful to catch up. Neil has golfed his heart out. The other day someone came up to his group who were having a beer on the verandah of the golf course, holding out a hat and saying that he’s collecting money to pay for an airticket for Neil to fly back to Plett asap. Enough already for winning so many matches –

Neil at townhouse as chirpy as anything

I’m looking forward to our return to Plett tomorrow. This time we’ll leave in the early hours and go all the way through. It’s been a good 3 weeks up here on the highveld.

Last Sunday we went to the Wilds Nature Reserve with a friend. Oh it was lovely to walk along this recently restored special nature spot in the middle of Johannesburg. For many years it had been a crime hotspot.

Unbelievably, irrationally, inexcusably, the president and his council have imposed lockdowns on certain beaches including Plett! For the festive season! We are reeling from this – yes, it’s true that covid appears to be in a 2nd wave and most of us agree with some of the measures (gatherings like funerals). But beaches? It’s true that some beaches get overcrowded especially on public holidays but not in the western cape. There’s a big outcry about this. Not only because of the potential effect on businesses, restaurants, but just the sheer awfulness of denying us the pleasure of walking on beaches while wearing masks, keeping social distance etc … It’s true that there are many other lovely things to do in my neck of the woods. Before we left to come up to Jo’burg, Neil and I went to Nature’s Valley, some way away (30 kms or so) and did a lovely hike after we’d had a delicious lunch with the most magnificent view of the crashing waves right in front of us. Urgent applications to the High Court are being made for the government to relax the ban on beaches …


Solstice

It’s a few days until the solstice on Monday 21st December where we will have the longest day and shortest night, and vice versa in the northern hemisphere. I hear that this solstice is particularly eventful and rare. Jupiter and Saturn will be so close together that they form a star, now being hailed as the coming of the Star of Bethlehem.

What a year 2020 has been. May the end of it give us 2020 vision where we see more clearly a 2020 (perfect) vision for a better world, a safer more peaceful one. It is said that healing begins only after the trauma … so it may be a while yet. But with hope in our hearts and a desire for a better world coupled with the ability to make it happen, it is very possible.

To you all, a blessed Christmas and New Year. It’s been a tough year for many of us. I don’t have to enumerate the sadnesses and difficulties we’ve all experienced in one way or another. May you be well and stay well. Thank you all for your support to my blog, I appreciate it more than you could know. My love and good wishes to you all –

#WATWB catching the wave

The last Friday of the month has rolled around – again! Time for bloggers around the world to post a piece of good news that helps to uplift the mood and lessen the tension that anyone may be experiencing in these strange and disturbing times.

This is the purpose of #WATWB .. to highlight stories that spread good will, good thought and feeling, stories that are different, maybe a little unusual, that show a person, or an organisation, an event ‘paying it forward’ – many times illustrating people who rise above their circumstances and have a good news story to tell. With the aid of another or others and that’s person sense of courage and fortitude, much can be and is achieved.

My contribution is a little different. It popped up on my FB feed a few days ago as a memory. It’s a 4 year old post put up by David Scott. Given that my last month’s post for #WATWB was tilted ‘say no to racism’ I thought it appropriate to ‘use’ this one, this time round. A young man’s observations – and another ‘no to racism’ – and some hope in looking forward to what is possible – catching the wave –

David Scott is feeling hopeful

27 October 2016  · Cape Town  · Yesterday, I saw something quite profound. I was sitting in the water on my surfboard at Muizenberg & the offshore wind had created spray from the waves, which cast a rainbow. As I saw this, I noticed that the rainbow was arching over the children beneath it, black & white – all enjoying themselves in the ocean. I was touched by their interaction – the black kids were pushing white kids into the waves, the white kids were cheering the black kids on when they caught the wave – they were all getting enjoyment out of seeing the other succeed. I was reminded that in order to see this picture, I had to paddle past the breakers. What we see with the student protests can often feel like waves smashing into us, knocking us back – but without them, there would be no spray to cast the rainbow. It gave me hope that Mandela & Tutu’s idea of a rainbow nation is not so crazy after all. We may be a long way from it, but what I saw yesterday showed me that true democracy is not as far fetched as it sounds. It’s also why I love surfing at Muizenberg. There’s such a diversity of people there but your social status is irrelevant – everyone is equal in the water.

Surfing rules in Muizenberg | SA Country Life
This actually is a photo of the Muizenberg beach 🙂

Please pop by and visit our co-hosts for this month. Our thanks to them. Their stories are sure to be wonderful, uplifting & restorative – Our co-hosts are Sylvia McGrath Mary J. Giese Shilpa Garg
Sylvia Stein and  Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Click HERE  to sign up for this if you’d like to. The linky list will open up in a new window.

Thank you for reading. May you be well and safe and have a lovely weekend. May the Force be with you ..

Interview with Dr. Jean Raffa

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean Raffa the other day via Zoom on her new book “The Soul’s Twins ~ Emancipate your Feminine & Masculine Archetypes”. The video is below, and runs for 45 mins. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Jean’s biographical details are below, and also included is the trailer to her launch of her book. The music is lovely as is the content and the graphics. The trailer runs for 7 mins.

Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops and dream groups. Formerly a television producer and college professor, Jean changed directions in mid-life to write about her passions:  Jungian psychology, empowering the feminine in all of us, and psychological and spiritual growth.  Her books—The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth, and Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork—have been used in university classes and dreamwork courses throughout the country. Her book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, received the 2013 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council.

Her newest book, The Soul’s Twins, is about how to create partnership between femininity and masculinity within yourself and in your relationships. It will be launched in November of 2020.

You can find more information about Jean at her website and blog, http://www.jeanbenedictraffa.com, on her Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/jeanraffa. She can be contacted at jeanraffaauthor@gmail.com

Thank you for listening and reading. I hope this finds you all well and safe. Happy All Souls’ Day. May the Force be with you..

A Few Firsts

There’ve been a few firsts for me these last few weeks that have brightened my mood. One adventure was going out on a whale watching boat. O those big wide seas! I swear I could see the curve of the planet on the horizon. We saw seals frolicking in the waves against sheer rocky hills, a few sharks gliding by and then much further out, the spotting of whales!

On another day, I went collecting river stones that have been dumped into an area fairly close by. I’m using them in the creation of my cactus patch. Further along we could see the entrance to Sky Villa, a boutique hotel set high up on the lower hills. So, after picking some up, we went for tea. Beautiful place. Windy, overcast, cool. Magnificent views of Plettenberg Bay. What I did NOT expect to see, on the other side of the glass window was –

I’ve started attending art meetings on Saturday afternoons. Already I feel less stale, less cramped in my withering creativity.

But the real purpose of my blog today is to notify you of a post I’ll be putting up next week. I’ll be interviewing Dr. Jean Benedict Raffa. This is definitely a first for me and one I’m looking forward to, with some trepidation if truth be told. Jean is the author of several books and has one coming out very soon, called ‘The Soul’s Twins – Emancipate Your Masculine & Feminine Archetypes’. I really hope you’ll do us the honour of tuning in – her book is beautiful and the wisdom she imparts is invaluable.

Below, are Jean’s bio and weblinks.

Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops and dream groups. Formerly a television producer and college professor, Jean changed directions in mid-life to write about her passions:  Jungian psychology, empowering the feminine in all of us, and psychological and spiritual growth.  Her books—The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth, and Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork—have been used in university classes and dreamwork courses throughout the country. Her book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, received the 2013 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council. Her newest book, The Soul’s Twins, is about how to create partnership between femininity and masculinity within yourself and in your relationships. It will be launched in November of 2020.

You can find more information about Jean at her website and blog, http://www.jeanbenedictraffa.com, on her Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/jeanraffa. She can be contacted at jeanraffaauthor@gmail.com

One of many early reviews of ‘The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Masculine & Feminine Archetypes’.

‘The author gifts us with practical knowledge acquired from 30 years of inner work and her impressive wisdom and research into Jungian psychology. Readers will find enlightening recognition of themselves and others in artfully told stories that describe the complexity of the male and female archetypes and the vital roles they play in our lives today. Each of us has both within us. By becoming aware of them and their different shades and levels of activity, including the shadow side of each, we can consciously embrace a marriage of the two. This is an important message for modern times. The Soul’s Twin is highly recommended for anyone keen to deepen the dictum “Know Thyself”. It has been a joy to read’.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you safe and well. I hope also that you’ll view the Skype or Zoom video with Dr. Jean Raffa that I put up next week. May The Force be with you.

#WATWB no to racism

The last Friday of the month has come around again. It’s the day on which bloggers around the world post a good news story as a foil to the dark and disturbing news that permeates our everyday world. Damyanti Biswas and Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen started this a few years back.

Here in South Africa, we have many positive groups who say no to racism. Move One Million (M1M) and #I’m staying are two examples. Both groups have had enormous success in highlighting unity vs division. M1M have held peaceful protests around the country and have been represented in many different parts of the world when, at a particular time, they held up their flags standing in unity for South Africa. It has gained much traction globally. The last one was on 5th September. Another one coming up in October.

I’ve chosen one from #I’m Staying. It’s a public group in which people of all shades and stripes proudly tell stories of why they’re staying in SA.

SA Flag

I like this story because this woman named a white Afrikaner who was of great assistance to her and in my view shows that race need not be a factor in thought, word and deed as many would have us believe.

Constance Gololo Montja #I’m staying.

‘I want to share a story of how the action of one man changed my life. I was a Candidate Attorney and could barely afford anything and I needed a flat to stay. He let me stay at his flat that he was letting for R1500 for the duration of my articles and beyond at that time rental for a place like that was around R3500 – 4000. He was Mr SP Van Zyl. He could not speak a single English word, saw him once on the day that I met with him to sign my lease agreement  at Absa Bank at Queenswood.

What brought tears to my eyes and completely broke my heart and fill it with gratitude was that after his passing his kids came to the flat and told me that their father told them that whatever they did with his properties they must never kick me out and increase my rent. To think that someone who did not know me, was a white Afrikaner gave me so much than anyone had ever given me showed me that humanity triumphs above everything else .

I moved on and have a house of my own but he has taught me to lend a helping hand where I can to those less fortunate than I am.

God bless his soul and may he rest in eternal peace . He made such a difference in my life’.

Eric Lahti, Roshan Radhakrishnan , Shilpa GargPeter Nena and Sylvia Stein are our hosts for this month. Thank you! Do pop by and say hello and read their posts, they’re sure to be uplifting and a reminder of how much good there is in the world.

To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you and have a great weekend.

Equinox, tilts, transitions

For a brief moment the sun stands directly over the equator and each hemisphere receives the same amount of daylight (barring clouds), ie 12 hours, each equally illuminated. Then begins the earth’s tilt, ushering in a new season and transitions for both hemispheres. For us here in the southern hemisphere, spring although fickle, is on its way with summer on its heels. For the northern hemisphere, the nights are longer and much goes underground to rest.

I was shocked and saddened at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, may her memory be a blessing. I know that there are political implications in her successor, who and when. In South Africa we were saddened by the recent death of Mr. George Bizos, who was part of the defence team of Mr. Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial (1963-1964). They were the greatest of friends.

We’ve been lying very low over these times. But we did take a road trip earlier this month and did something that we’ve always wanted to do. It was my husband’s idea. With the help of son Mike we booked a few places to overnight and set off a few days later to visit the flowers up country.

Our first overnight stop was with very dear friends in Wellington, a good 8 hour drive from our home in Plettenberg Bay. I watched her make a vegan lasagne for dinner; o my goodness it was delicious! I’ve made a vegan lasagne a few times since being home and am impressed with my culinary skills (had never made any kind of lasagne in my life before).

This little buck stepped out from hiding into the sunshine as we were leaving the next morning –

at Di & Rob’s home

The Namaqualand flower show and the West Coast National Park is so special. I gather there are about 4000 different species of plant seeds. Visitors come from all over the world to ooh and ahh at the display of wildflowers set against dramatic mountains (not now in these times obviously). And speaking of seeds, we can all plant seeds, whether plant or vegetable seeds, seeds of love and kindness.

some photos en route and during our adventure

not my photo
cold, windy, even statue wearing a mask
Bird Island Lambert’s Bay. Gannets by the 1000’s in foreground
scrambled egg with salmon – West Coast National Park
not my photo

My sister who lives in Cape Town has a holiday home in The Wilderness, an hour and a half drive from me. I visited her last Wednesday, and ooh’d and aah’d at her pretty garden.

Debora’s garden

Although you can’t see it in the photo, she had an airplant hanging on a branch. In fact a few dotted around. She gave me this one below now hanging on a tree in my garden.

random photo, one I took a few weeks ago on a walk
tiny leaf looks like a tree

There is much tension here in South Africa. Every day I acknowledge Dorothy Parker’s words ‘What Fresh Hell Is This?’ Not just here in SA but everywhere. The wheels of justice turn soooo slowly. There are times I feel hopeful, other times not.

But at the equinox, there is a moment when things stand still, as we can too, acknowledging the tilts and transitions, along with change – and embrace all that is good, strong and true –

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.

#WATWB

On the last Friday of each month, bloggers from around the world post an item on good news, an incident that raises our vibrations and which helps towards making the world a better place and restores our faith in humanity.

It can be an individual act; a collective act; an initiative that gets off the ground serving the greater whole; it can be a known act, or an unknown one.

Here in Plettenberg Bay where I live, there are so many people and organisations that help feed the needy, and do much else besides for many communities who live on the fringe of this town. This one took my fancy, this young lad who lives in the UK, and whose grandparents live in Plettenberg Bay

This young hero, 7 yr old Bradley Watson who lives in the UK, decided during lockdown he wanted to raise money for hungry children in Plett where his Grandparents live. He told his family he wanted to run a marathon over 7 days, but with their support completed the marathon in just 4 days. (5 hrs & 32 min). He raised R6000 and chose the Plett Meal Centre as the recipient, who feed 350 children & adults daily from Faris Rd in the Industrial area. Bradley, you are an absolute star. Thank you. #plett_volunteers Knysna-Plett Herald CXpress Garden Route Newspaper

Image may contain: 7 people, outdoor, text that says "UNITED Kingdom King Day Finished 29 July 2020 12,7 kms Ashtead urrey ΑΙΑ DAY 12.7km MARATHON Bradley Watson yrs old- Ran 42 km for Charity-Completed/in 4 days Day 2 27 27July 10 kms FINISHED Start Day 1 13 Kms 26 July Finished Marathon: 42 Km Day 3 28July 28 7 kms AIA SupportTeam Support eam The Plett Meal Centre Eyethu Educare PE MEAL CENTRE &EYETHU EDUCARE"

Our co-hosts this month are below. Do pop by them to say hello and get a shot of good news to set you sailing through the weekend.


Lizbeth Hartz
Peter Nena
Shilpa Garg
Roshan Radhakrishnan and
Sylvia Steyn

Please share on social media. It’s nice to share good news.

September is around the corner – hard to believe. Here in the southern hemisphere, we’re turning towards Spring and you in the northern hemisphere, towards Fall, or as we call it here in South Africa, Autumn.

But wherever we are, whatever season approaches or recedes, things are changing. Day by day. There’s pretty much upheaval here, there and everywhere.

Keep safe, thank you for reading and may the Force be with you.

beauty

There is so much that is unpleasant around the world, it can really get to me. I sometimes feel I have compassion fatigue, empathy fatigue, donation fatigue and wish I could be like an ostrich and keep my head in the sand. I feel sometimes that I’ve forgotten how to pray or meditate and that I don’t know how anymore –

But there is so much that is lovely, and softening, and beautiful.

Please go to 2nd page of this post for reading – it’s truly lovely –

Closer to home on my walks, or up early in the morning to see the sunrise, to see a flower in bloom, the sky and strange cloud formations. The night sky and stars, the bird calls, butterflies, bees …

from my bedroom balcony
pincushion from my son’s garden
candle on my study desk which I light every now and then for loved ones and for the world
rainbow over there from my balcony
different rainbow, different day on sea from my balcony
red plant on sidewalk
strange plant on sidewalk – reminds me of praying, or like the Buddha touching the earth or is it like an ostrich –
strange person on beach (me)
flamingoes on lagoon
quote on sugar pack at coffee shop
laughing buddha on my dressing table (I think it was my mother’s)
my husband’s spinach patch
owl in tree on my son’s property here in Plett
other-worldly markings on tar road outside my home
This is NOT my photo of the Robberg. Taken by Carol Main who I gather is resident here in Plettenberg Bay and posted on one of the Plett feeds –
full moon a while ago

Dr Ian McCallum is a South African psychiatrist, Jungian Analyst, ecologist and poet. The link I’ve given is a wonderful and fierce read and I felt uplifted reading it. He notes ‘How ironic that 2020 is the symbol of perfect vision. If we had such vision, then we must have seen it coming’. What will we do with this ‘perfect vision’? He writes about the earth, society’s and the individual’s response to ‘I can’t breath’ and much else besides ….

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/ecological-and-psychological-perspective-year-coronavirus-reflections/

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.

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