Mother Nature Heals
Vicovia Nzimela (Vicky) is a trainee facilitator who has been working with Educo Africa for the last year. Her work involves taking youth into the mountains in order to help them to deal with issues such as conflict resolution, problem solving and developing personal vision.
All of this work is done through examples seen in nature as well as game playing. She is trained in Child and Youth Care, and has developed a passion for mountains and truly believes in the restorative and healing power of Mother Nature. She was born in Valhalla Park, Cape Town and currently lives in Delft. This is her story of the beginning of her love affair with the mountains:
It is believed that the wilderness can heal, rejuvenate and help you find calmness, perspective and help set your goals and objectives in life. This is so because Mother Nature has a natural way of holding whatever it is that we want to leave in the mountains, these include stories of joy, pain and suffering and everything in between.
So welcome to my personal experience of the wilderness.
For me, stepping into the unknown brought a lot of fear, uncertainty as well as some excitement; it was these mixed feelings that kept me going through the process. The first thing that drew my attention was the beauty of nature, and how nature takes care of itself. One thing I found fascinating was the number of all small rivers running individually, but yet all connected to a bigger river. It symbolized how we as individuals lead separate lives, but yet are connected and inter-dependent on one another.
Another fear I had to deal with was the fear of the dark and being by myself. One of the exercises we do with the youth is the Solo Night, where they must go into the wilderness alone for a day and a night. While alone, they think about what they need to take with them on the next part of their life’s journey, and what they can leave behind in the mountains.
After the Solo Night, the youth come back to camp, into the circle and share their story of their alone time. This experience provided me with an opportunity to deal with my fears of being alone and of the dark. What made me overcome my fears was that I knew I was not alone, I had Mother Nature who was looking over me, and watching the stars really brought calmness over me.
When I step into the wilderness now, I know that whatever weight the participants of my group carry – emotional weight or any other challenges they are faced with, Mother Nature will provide relief.
I remember after Solo Night getting into the circle to share my story – I shared it with tears and bits of laughter. After sharing, my heart felt free and I could feel a sense of moving forward and leaving the baggage that has been a barrier keeping me from living the life I was destined to live.
What I enjoy now is to see how the wilderness opens that opportunity for all the beautiful young people that I work with. It moves my heart when they realise that the wilderness is a secret place where you can just be who you want to be.
The mountains and the wilderness have now become a home away from home for me. Through continuous education, we can help others to learn from Mother Nature.