Nestled away on a farm near the Crocodile River rests a fig tree. Someone had the ingenious idea to build a tree house within and around the sturdy base of this old tree, and boy am I grateful that they did.
I had the incredible blessing of experiencing this small corner of heaven with my family this past holiday, it was an experience that I will not soon be forgetting. A 4 hours drive in a Smart car outside of Johannesburg was the perfect length of time to be listening to my father relay the details of his childhood, and still appreciate the nuances of his stories, without getting too bored. We arrived at the farm gates with some help from Google Maps and a lot of questionable stares from my family members. Those stares would soon intensify when I led our convoy down 15 minutes of sand road, passing between broad Acacia trees and a few stray Springbok. Parking my little car in the small dirt clearing, we all glanced around wondering where this supposed tree house is located. For a place that sleeps 6 people, it was incredibly well camouflaged and understated. Slowly we all idled along a small path that led to the double-story decking wrapping around this lush tree.
There were no walls that separated our morning yawns from the little birds chirping on the branches next to our canopy beds. I unzipped my mosquito net and waltzed down the wooden steps into the open kitchen around the base of the tree. I sipped my morning coffee whilst admiring the beautiful mountains shrouded in early morning mist, the fresh air blowing up from the valley through the kitchen has a way of waking a person up. My sister and I teamed up as shower buddies in order to ensure that we had back-up, just in case a little 8-legged friend decided to join us in the outdoor shower. A cold refreshing shower was mercy in the humid heat of the late afternoon, lathering up with my pink grapefruit body wash whilst looking out at the thick bush of the high Middleveld was as relaxing as a jacuzzi bath at the Hilton Hotel.
The highlight of this destination had to be the fact that there was no electricity and absolutely no hint of cell reception. It gave me no other choice but to sit with all of the emotion and baggage that I had accumulated over 2018 and sort through every detail. A painful and nauseating process, made easier by the sound of cicadas and a mountain view. I left this small slice of heaven having laid to rest my heavy heart of 2018 and a reinforced family unit to ensure I am stronger than ever for 2019.