Any normal year, I’d be prepping for my annual pilgrimage to this place: Londolozi, South Africa. This year, though I can’t go there, Londolozi is helping me see this pandemic in a different light.
In the 1970s, two South African teenagers named Dave and John Varty were devastated by the sudden death of their father. The boys were advised to sell the family’s barren cattle farm in the bushveld. Instead, they decided to try something they called “restoring Eden.” Not realizing how crazy this idea was, the Vartys spent years repairing the terrain and waterflow, bringing native plants back to the land. Animals soon followed. The wilderness healed.
When I sit on the grass by my room at Londolozi these days, monkeys and antelope come close enough to touch me. Elephants graze nearby. This wilderness is unafraid of human presence.
Londolozi is a place where something horrible led to something wonderful.
Now something horrible is happening to all of us. It’s brought many of our lives to a brutal halt. It’s horrific. And it can be the moment we decide to “restore Eden” within ourselves.
Wherever you are, use this strange time to notice any place where you’ve been feeling deadened, barren. Find the wild side of yourself, the person you’d be if you lived in the present and did what brought you joy, like an animal. Begin nurturing that part of yourself. Listen to it. Be kind to it.
If enough of us do this, maybe we can restore Eden on a grander scale.
Seismographers say the planet is literally shaking less, now that we’re walking more lightly upon it. A coyote was photographed trotting down an empty street in Chicago’s usually-packed Miracle Mile. In Japan, deer are cautiously venturing into the streets. Dolphins are swimming in the suddenly clear canals of Venice.
This could be the time we stop heading insanely toward our own destruction. A time to transform our consciousness and our relationship to all life. A time to restore Eden, within us and all around us.
I’ve devoted my whole life to this mission. I’m teaching a course to share what I know. It’s called PRACTICAL WAYFINDING: HOW TO THRIVE WHEN EVERYTHING’S FALLING APART. Join the transformation.