Johannesburg, South Africa
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Sometimes it seems that patterns are so stuck that nothing can shift them. And then overnight it all changes and the feeling is, “Of course! What took us so long?!” The Berlin wall for example, the end of apartheid…and now Zimbabwe.
I flew to Bulawayo last Tuesday (14 November) to spend a week with family and friends. Who could have predicted that that was the very day the military made its move to ring the changes? I was thrilled to be in the country to experience first hand the unfolding drama – and it sure has been a roller coaster. First there were the rumours, speculation and cautious excitement, and a minor fear of a potential clash between military and police still loyal to Mugabe. The greater fear was that nothing would come of it and the status quo would prevail. On Saturday the excitement spilled over, culminating in the jubilant mass marches all across the country. And then on Sunday came Mugabe’s bewildering address to the nation where it seemed he was not resigning after all. Excitement turned to confusion, disappointment, fury and general gloominess. And Tuesday he did indeed resign and once again we’re elated. All in the space of this one week.
One of the plans for my time in Zimbabwe was to spend a few days with a couple friends in the Matobo Hills, a most magnificent national park about 30km south of Bulawayo. Here’s what it say in the brochure: “It contains some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world. The landscape has been carved out from an almost flat surface of granite by millions of years of weathering, resulting in great ‘whalebacks’ and domes and castle-like formations… The whole area has great cultural and religious significance for the African people, Many of the kopjes (hills) are revered and are the sites for special gatherings and worship…. There are many species of animals and prolific bird life, which includes the largest concentration of Black Eagles and leopards in one area in the world…. The quiet brooding spirit of the park, interrupted occasionally by the cry of a fish eagle, or the bark of a baboon echoing through the hills, will leave an indelible impression on every visitor.” There are lots of pictures on the internet, but nothing quite captures the magnitude and energy of it. We stayed in a charming lodge with no electricity, no internet, no cell phone signal – utter peace. Since it was a time of focused attunement and radiation, that was perfect.
What has particularly impressed itself on me is that as much fun as the roller coaster may be, as conscious beings we don’t belong there. “Whatever arises let me abide in the secret place of the Most High.” (Martin Exeter). “In tranquility is the everlasting attitude towards external events wherein one can truly say, ‘NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME.’” (Uranda – Seven Steps to the Temple of Light). “In joy not overjoyed; in sorrow not dejected” (Baghavad Gita). Matobo Hills is a beautiful symbol of that. There is a timeless, changeless bedrock of peace and serenity in those great granite hills that will outlive all the shenanigans of human beings over the entire course of history. That is what we tapped into.
I know there were many who were aware of my travels and the outworking in Zimbabwe, and once again there was a field of unified radiation. Perhaps that contributed to the fact that this was one of the most peaceful coups in history – not a single incidence of violence at any level. Quite remarkable. There is clearly still a ways to go to rebuild the country, and we know that ultimately salvation doesn’t come from politicians, but it does feel like a window has been opened in hearts and minds this past week. I intend to stay on the job and continue pouring love and blessings through that window – and I am very thankful that I am not alone in that.