Floral splendour to remind us of the value of life
Just as I was losing hope after this challenging year, it rained and land transformed into a magical, awe-inspiring wonderland, reminding me of the joy of being alive.
Having grown up on Klein-Aus Vista, near Aus in south-western Namibia, edging the Namib Desert, the scents of flowers seeped into my soul. Unknown to me at the time, they would influence and shape my life.
Different weather conditions reveal a striking collage of colour: as far as the eye can see, purple Blousporrie (Heliophila deserticola) and bright yellow Gazania lichtensteinii.
The desert vista – with flowers! Look how happy they are – dancing in the wind! Aus Daisy Arctotis fastuasa.
During my childhood, I would take walks with my mother through the farm and she would point out the different flowers. Together we would bend over, admire their beauty and sniff the subtle and lovely scents. We would fill our nostrils with the chamomile-like Gansogie and the Harige Botterblom reminiscent of vanilla, and we would smell the sweet scent of Blousporrie being carried gently on the wind. She instilled in me a deep reverence and love for those hardy, tenacious desert blooms that burst through the ground with such life-affirming presence. It was soul food and inspiration for life.
My mom enthusiastically showing me each flower as she did in my youth. She triggered my love for flowers and their scents.
A profusion of flowers carpets the plains with bright colours and a heavenly scent. Buttery-yellow Grielum sinuatum and the brighter Hirpicium echinus (Harige Botterblom) dance in the wind with the purple sambreeltjies (Felicia namaquana), lifting their happy faces to the sky.
Years later, after following more conventional professions, the scents of the flowers called to me again, as did the wonderful rich earthy scents of Namibia’s indigenous oils like Namib myrrh, mopane and marula. I began to focus entirely on my passion, learning all the scientific methodology along the way that goes with combining scents and natural ingredients to produce a wholesome and nurturing body-care range. ‘Desert Secrets’ was born, resonating with the alluring scents of the Namib Desert.
Supplying several lodges and lodge groups around the country allowed me to finally live my dream and passion of sharing the earth’s secrets. When this was abruptly interrupted this year with Covid-19 halting tourism, I could feel my petals wilt, and wilt some more as the months dragged on.
You can never get enough of this spectacular floral display. Purple sambreeltjies (Felicia namaquana).
That is, until I recently returned to Klein-Aus Vista where it all began and was profoundly reminded to have faith, that the difficult times will soon pass. My father tells me that never before in his lifetime has he ever witnessed such a magnificent profusion of spring flowers.
The mystery of nature and life. Where do all the seeds come from, lying dormant and waiting patiently on the soil for precious raindrops. I wish that photos could carry the beautiful vanilla-like smell to you of these Harige Botterblomme (Hirpicium echinus).
Hardy flowers persist at this viewpoint even after a desert sandstorm.
The magic of the desert presents itself in an entirely different form as the mist rolls in from the coast over the sweet-smelling Blousporrie (Heliophila deserticola), one of my favourites.
When I sat down among the Harige Botterblom to take this photo on a windless, still evening, there was only the sound of birds in the distance. I have never experienced such an intense scent in the air here before. There is such a feeling of profound soulfulness when you sit quietly between the blooms at this time of day.
Endless plains of colour. It was soul food and inspiration for life.
I remain convinced that Mother Nature displayed such exuberant floral splendour this year to remind us of the value and beauty of life. And never, never to give up.
My deepest and most heart-felt thanks.