Life is…there are so many adjectives or adjectival phrases that could fill that space. “Beautiful”. “Complicated”. “Stressful at the best of times”. Given that it’s heading to “that” time of year, I choose to embrace this last description. I was at Menlyn mall today, and I literally had to fight my way through the molasses, the faceless mass of people seeming to never end, regardless of which way I turned to try and find the road less taken – or in this case, the escalator that didn’t have a screaming kid on it. I understand that it’s a difficult time of year – you feel that may need to please everyone – your family, your friends, your in-laws – with the expected Christmas gift, dinner and perhaps a personalised text. But what about you? Surely you deserve some of the Christmas spirit that the adverts on television sets and billboards everywhere proclaim is your right (but only if you buy their products). Me? I try and get away from all of the nonsensical behaviour that overwhelms the human race at this time of year, and I do it in the most spectacular fashion, my new hiding spot a mere moment’s drive from the Homes in Willow Acres Estate.
Nkwe resort. Tucked away within the hills of the east, it hides in plain sight, what with its gorgeous ode to the world undiscovered by many, yet cherished by the few who know. As you enter the winding path that leads away from the main road, the sounds of modern suburbia seem to dissipate, disappear into the air, as an unnatural quiet befalls the grounds through which you drive – slightly unnerving, given that not seconds before all you could hear were the sounds, the sirens, the movements of motors and machinery that characterise the world that we live in today. Yet not at all intimidating – more inviting, if anything, as though drawing you in, inviting you to relax and enjoy the change in tempo that is to be found within these lands.
The path leads right, and tall trees block any further attempt to see what lies ahead – at least, such was my anticipation, my curiosity piqued by the brave new world (hi Darwin) that had discovered me. And what trees they were, standing tall and mighty, high above the ground, seemingly guardians of the entrance to splendours as yet unknown, their branches stern yet comforting in the provision of shade from the scorching African sun that we know so well. Through them we drove, the wind sounding in their foliage, as though the fauna of the area were speaking to one another in the ghostly whispers that reached our ears, an ancient language unknown to mortals. At last we happened upon the last of said trees, my vision to what lay ahead now cleared. Green pastures of grass, their hue mesmerizing, such was the radiance, the vibrancy of their natural splendour. We parked. Got out, and that is when the true impact of what all within the area seemed to guard so sacredly, hit home.
The lake stood before us, its majesty simply awe-inspiring - this was already passing over the waterfall in the background, the crystal clear, white waters crashing against the rock, calming, and flowing down, subtly, smoothly over the ancient pathways carved into the earth over the millennia to reach that body of water that glistened with the radiance of a thousand black diamonds, its depths unfathomable, its surface undisturbed…
I was talking about how I relax? How I take a break from the Christmas spirit? I run to the top of the craggy cliffs than line the northern shore of the lake that lies within Nkwe resort, breathe deeply, once, twice, and hurl myself into the abyss, with nothing below me save the water to break my fall. Entering its cool, refreshing depths, I feel every care, every concern simply melt away. The stress of the silly season is indeed a silly thing to stress about. The beauty in life that is to be had as part of the natural amenities of Willow Acres is stunning in every conceivable way, and allows for much needed respite from the world in which we live – one from whence we came and, sadly, at some point must return to, yet not before our energies are restored by the sheer joy that is to be had compliments of this marvellous environment.
While at Nkwe, I worry about nothing. I know my car is safe, for the safety through the seclusion of the area stands to rival the very security at Willow Acres itself. I know that for a few, short and precious hours, I will have to ask nothing in want nor need, answer to none, or even answer my phone (turned off and left in the car by the way).While at Nkwe, I experience happiness on a whole new playing field. While at New, I live.