Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall, Whispers of a Crushed Heart

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Wall.”

The Kaole ruins is situated about 5 kms south of the town Bagamoyo in Tanzania. These ruins date from the 13th century and are the remains of two mosques.

The remaining walls bear witness to the early influence of arab traders on East Africa. I took these pictures and  wondered about the many traders, pilgrims and even slaves who had walked here before me.

The port Bagamoyo was the main port from which slave traders shipped slaves to other parts of the world . The name literally means Place of the Crushed heart.



Wide Eye Wednesday 7: Moments not Months

skoenlapper 1

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. ~Rabindranath Tagore


On Sunday this beautiful butterfly hatched from the chrysalis outside my backdoor. While the wings were still wet and the butterfly was resting, I managed to take these pictures. The opportunity lasted only a few moments then it spread its wings and flew away.

Reading about the life cycle of a butterfly, I realised how little time in human terms butterflies have to live.  And yet it is enough.

Four weeks to one year.

Short, very short in human terms .

How much time do we have?

Seventy years or more if we are fortunate and yet how many times do we say: ” I do not have enough time ”  

This made me think ” Do we count the moments or the months ?  ” 

I have to plead guilty to my own question. Many times I neglect to savour the moment. I look but do not see, listen but do not hear, I feel the sun or the wind on my skin but am somehow unaware of the joy it brings. Untill I see something as simple as a butterfly moments out of its chrysalis and my eyes are opened,

I watched in wonder as it hung upside down on the leaf next to the empty shell of its cocoon. It spent those moments motionless, allowing the sun shining through the leaves to dry its wings. Then it started moving, the wings opened and closed a few times. Blood filled its veins in preparation for flight. Moments later it was gone, taking with it  this week’s wide eye moment.

As I watched it fly away, I realised the butterfly spent a few moments of its short life to soak up strength before starting its journey.How much more should I spend time in the sun of the Son, soaking up His energy and love. Allowing His love to spread like blood through my veins in preparation for flight. Then when I fly again moments will be enough for my strength will be renewed.

Isaiah 40:31  ( NKJV ) 

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.








Mom, There is an Alien in my Bed

I was sitting on my bed holding the fussing baby when Paka my usual  companion jumped onto the bed. He saw the baby and promptly crawled underneath the comforter peeping out at me and the baby as if to say ” Mom there is an alien in my  bed.”    

IMG_6338 alienYes indeed, there is an alien in the bed.

Twenty five years after having my last babies , there is a baby in the house again.

He arrived unexpectedly 5 weeks early from planet van Zyl bearing gifts from the past and dreams for the future  His arrival caught us totally unawares, causing mild panic and a scramble to prepare a place for this new member of the family.

He brought eyes like his dad, a mouth like his mom, the length of his maternal great grandfather, fingers and toes like his mother, dark hair like the van Zyls.  Gifts with the amazing ability to change depending on who he presents it to. To the van Zyl family he presents pure van Zyl gifts, to the van der Walt family van der Walt and Louw gifts.

In the midst of the excitement and discussion of his gifts, he placidly lies waiting for his needs to be met. Beware however if the service is poor or slow. He will let you know in no uncertain terms that he is dissatisfied. He makes his needs known in an alien language with grunts, moans grimaces, hiccups, sneezes and if all else fails angry screams which echo through the house.

Caring for his needs becomes an all consuming passtime. We stumble through sleep deprived days. We rejoice at each dirty and wet nappy. We cheer loud burps and wipe baby spit with joy. We marvel at the way he sucks and co-ordinate breathing with swallowing. We sit staring at him while he sleeps, afraid that he might just forget to breathe. After all only a week ago he was still in hospital and a very sick baby.

Soon we learn to understand his language and the alien becomes a beloved member of the family. All the discussions about the inheritance of his traits fade away and he becomes Nico, a little boy  wrapped in a package all his own. We forget that he came from planet van Zyl , we forget that his eyes looks like this one’s and mouth like that one’s. We love him just for who he is.

For Nico: You are You                                                                                                                             That is truer than true                                                                                                           There is no one alive who is                                                                                               Youer than You  –  Dr Seuss