Life is a Circle.

The Dragon mountains — connections of the human kind.

The Circle of Life’ — It’s a cliché, it’s a prophetic saying, it’s a song from a Disney movie we’ve all probably sung along to more times than we’d care to admit.

This weekend I found out exactly what it means.

There is a place dear to my heart in South Africa. It is part of the formidable mountain range called the Drakensberg(dragon mountains) also known as uKhahlamba — the barrier of spears. It is one of the reserves in this world heritage site and it is called Injasuthi (the place of the well fed dog!) The names themselves conspire to draw you into the tales of adventure and life from long ago!

It is an amazing place, full of crystal clear rivers that run with water straight off the mountains, bumpy dirt roads, bridges made from logs, fresh crisp clean air, waterfalls, cliffs and caves, peaks that change colour in the light, swirling mist, towering clouds, sudden dramatic thunderstorms, forests filled with ferns and wildflowers, big leafy trees that shade soft green grass on which you lie and contemplate life and paths that lead you to places of untold beauty with only the eagle and the bark of a baboon for company.

It is a place where you can sense the spirit of all those that came before you.

It is a place where technology has not invaded and as you drive in through the gate, the signal dies and your cell phone blinks ‘no service’ at you. Electricity? There is none, only a generator that runs from 18 00 to 22 00 for lights.

It is a place where your soul is restored, your mind refreshed and you are amazed at how quickly conversation, laughter and the mesmerizing fire become all you need to be entertained. It is a place where the body becomes a happy kind of tired so that you sink into a contented sleep.

It is a place that I have visited often ; I have walked hand in hand madly in love with my boyfriend, and cozied around a fire when we were newly married; I have watched our babies splash in the streams; and carried our toddlers on our backs along mountain paths; I have discovered new sights and hiked on adventure-filled walks with our teenagers; and I have walked a little slower on slightly less adventurous walks with my husband as our grey hair starts appearing and our bodies start objecting, and been accompanied and helped along by our adult children and their spouses. I have even chosen the place where I would like have my ashes scattered, much to the amusement of my children!

This weekend past, it was to this place that we came to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. An appropriate place to laugh, love, connect, reminisce, celebrate and give thanks for the years together.

We walked down the road we know so well and sat next to the babbling stream as we have done for so many years. As I watched and listened to our one year old grandchild laugh and gurgle with delight as he splashed about in the same way I had as a young girl and my own children had at that same age, I had a sudden overwhelming sense of coming full circle.

I was happy and full of hope that our grandchildren would one day bring their grandchildren to this same spot, I was sad and a little regretful that time has slipped by so quickly; I was in awe of all that happened in the journey of my life to bring me to this closing of the circle.

It was a tender moment, and I felt privileged and blessed to be able to share in something so inevitable and so miraculous.

It is a humbling experience this Circle of Life.