A Walk in the Bush

I live in Africa.  From time to time we have been privileged to spend time in the bush – in nature – and have seen and experience many wonderful events there.  Some of these have been small things that have touched my heart; others have been incredible, taking my breath away.  One or two have made me feel a moment of primal fear.  But God is very close to me as I celebrate creation in all its raw beauty.  It is all a gift I receive with deep-felt gratitude to the Creator. May today’s post help you to celebrate God’s imagination that is expressed through creation.

A walk in the bush

 For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14

We set out that evening for a brisk walk before dark. Armed with binoculars and camera we were keen to see what we could as the sun sank into the western hills and the sky began to change colour. It was not yet night – far from it – but as we found the notice warning us of rhinos and elephants and ostrich on the path, the most timid of us admitted to concern about the wisdom of our adventure. With varying tones of relief the rest agreed and we beat a dignified but hasty retreat back to camp, there to hear jackal bark on the plains below.

The next morning, emboldened by the bright sunshine and the promise of another eleven hours of daylight, we set out again.

This time the notice did not look nearly so foreboding and we wandered through the bush. Signs of spring were everywhere in the glorious flowers and the vibrant breeding colours of the birds. A black-headed oriole called, tantalizingly out of sight. European bee eaters flew overhead calling to each other as they sought their breakfast. A red headed weaver flew backwards and forwards to a bush sprouting tender young leaves, plucking them off the branch and using them to line his distinctively shaped nest. He was very vocal as he worked, maybe alerting others of his kind to his ownership.

A flicker of movement in the grass stopped us in our tracks. We were being watched – and heard! The enormous ears and docile eyes of the female kudu were locked on to us. She did not seem to perceive us as a threat; nor did her companions. Five we counted and hungrily searched the bush with our binoculars for the male. But he was not to be seen.

Examining lichen and grass heads, new leaves and flowers we meandered on. The sun began to heat the day. We had no idea how long we had been out, nor did we care. The distance was not great but when you examine so much, time can pass without being noticed. At last, hunger began to indicate that it was time to return and so we made our way back to camp. There is nowhere on this earth quite like the African bush early in the morning, and we arrived back well content and at peace.

The next morning, crossing the path in our car, not twenty metres away, we spotted a female rhino and her year old calf. I did wonder, as my imagination ran riot and the hair rose on the back of my neck at the images it produced in a fleeting  sensation of primal fear, whether we would have felt the same contentment and peace if we had walked on that morning…

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I do live in the city but make the most of the green spaces that surround me.
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