Love on Prescription

"Look! There is something amazing going on with the flamingos."

Flamingos spend the greater part of their lives with their slender necks bent down into the water. They are equipped with an angled bill, which allows their head to stay horizontal while, clacking and slobbering, they filter the alkaline water for algae all day long.

Fig tree camp at
Lake Bogoria figtree river

(Click to enlarge)

Now however, with their heads lifted up, they were involved in a rhythmic stepping forward and backward. After a while, we discovered a distinct pattern in their movement. First they took some steps forward, then came to a short halt, dipped their heads gracefully in the water and, again in a rhythmic movement, a couple of times lifted their necks high up. Each one then finished his or her part in the movement by stepping back and allowing others to take their place. Another group did the opposite at the other side of an imaginary line. They seemed to dance in a mirror image.

In disciplined rows of two by two, long lines of always more birds came from further down the lake, swimming, stepping on the water, and even flying in well-disciplined V-formations, and joined the others without disrupting the dance.

Lake Bogoria

(Click to enlarge)

Awed by the perfect harmony of the moving and arriving birds, we watched them for a long time and tried to figure out what made them perform this dance.

Suddenly Pieter broke the fascinated silence and said,

"You know what? There is a sweet-water outlet here from the stream that comes down from the spring higher up among the fig trees. They are drinking fresh water!"

Wistfully he added, "If only humans could live in this disciplined harmony, especially sharing clean drinking water."

A moment in eternity

(Click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, my thoughts had drifted home, where I had to lie down so often. Four years earlier, normal life as I had known it, had come to a halt when I needed an operation on my back. This had only solved part of the problem and often I was forced to rest for weeks on end.

I spent many hours staring at the big wild fig tree with its busy bird life and soaking up the healing beauty of the colors in the garden in the brilliance of the equatorial light. Isolated from most of normal society and often desperate and lonely, my search for God could not but intensify. And in the silence of my loneliness, I learned to listen to the inner voice, the still voice of the heart that bears all wisdom in heaven and on earth, your voice, mine, the voice for God.

Lake Bogoria birds
in rows for sweet water

(Click to enlarge)

"We have forgotten to base our decisions in life on the wisdom of the whisperings of our heart," I went on. "And so often we have suppressed with our mind what our heart told us would make us happy, that our body breaks up under the relentless stress.

"Illness then is a cry from the depth of our being that the fear to surrender to the inspirations of our heart needs to be healed. It has to make room for other aspects in us to grow and expand. When we fall ill, something in us is ready for a new stage in life. The time has come to make a new choice and we withdraw from the scene."