Weekly Photo Challenge: Community

It was Reconciliation Day here in South Africa on Monday and there really was a sense of community as everyone enjoyed the public holiday.  A day chosen to mark unity after the end of Apartheid, which was even more poignant this year having just celebrated and commiserated the life of Nelson Mandela with his funeral held last Sunday.

I spent the day down at Hout Bay Market where the locals had pulled together a delightful assortment of food, live music and a head to head dance off competition.  It was a wonderful day of community and unity amongst all those present, smiling and simply having a good time.

Spreading a little magic with the weekly photo challenge. 

Mandela Day…

In honour of the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent fighting for social justice and a free, democratic South Africa people around the world are being encouraged to spend 67 minutes helping their communities to do something positive today.

What are you doing this Nelson Mandela Day?  There are so many ways we can all help those around us, just stop yourself and think for a moment about what you can do.  No matter how big or small every gesture helps and the knock on rippling effect of goodness will flourish.

Mandela Day was inspired by the speech Madiba made in Hyde Park, London, on 27th June 2008 when he urged the leaders of future generations to help change the world for the better saying, “It is in your hands now.”

Today I have gifted two indigenous trees to be planted in an under-greened community.   Trees promote life in the form of oxygen, shelter for wildlife, recharge groundwater, replace soil nitrates and have countless more environmental benefits.  They also provide great pride of place in communities, helping them to become healthier and happier places to dwell.  Those living in barren landscapes are far more likely to suffer from crime, drug abuse and depression.   So a tree provides a host of means to help a community blossom.

One organisation doing an incredible job here in Cape Town is called Greenpop and if you too would like to get involved with making things greener please check them out here.  You can help no matter where you are in the World.  We are after all one big community sharing this earth.

If you are looking to your own local community sometimes even the smallest acts of kindness can make a persons day, for example:

  • Buy someone a coffee.
  • Hold the door open for the next person.
  • Help an elderly person with their shopping.
  • Spend time with a family member or friend in need.
  • Buy the big issue.
  • Go to your local charity in need and donate food, clothing or household necessities.
  • Hand out sandwiches if there are homeless people in your area.
  • Quite simply say thank you.
  • Smile and send out positive vibes!

Right must dash, I have got to go and buy my copy of the Big Issue….

Tall trees.

Oh to be so tall & slender!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture…

An experiment in a temporary culture…

Burning Man.

That is defined by the individuals rather than institutions…

Man playing the piano, fellow musicians sit on the top of a bus nearby.

Vehicle with people on.

Care and giving emerges instead of structured services…

An art car taxi at Burning Man.

A community that is collective, united and free from commercial transactions…

People at Burning Man.

A place where stories happen and magic occurs…

Ted with a mission impossible envelope.

For one week each year this community and CULTURE can be found at Black Rock City…

View of Burning Man.

“To truly understand this event, one must participate”.

Burning Man.

Spread a little magic with this weeks photo challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense…Love, Hope & Excitement.

On the way to my Wedding I went on an incredible journey from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere stopping off at a number of destinations along the way.   One such place is far out on a dusty playa in Nevada called Black Rock City.   It is the place where magic happens!

Out in the deep playa a temple rises apart from the city and is a place for visitors to reflect and pray.  A place of quiet and calm in an otherwise bustling, excited city of artists, entertainers, musicians, performers, magicians, travellers, explorer’s, kindred spirits and givers; an incredible community of creative cooperation and collaboration.

Black Rock City exists for only one week each year and is know as Burning Man.   The name comes from the ritual burning of an effigy on Saturday evening.   On the Sunday evening the temple burns.  Each year the temple is a different creation.

The annual theme for the event in 2012 was fertility, hence the building of the Temple of Juno.  Juno is an ancient Roman Goddess who’s many roles included a fertility deity, an overseer of childbirth, a protectress of women and the community.

The Temple of Juno was a beautiful traditional design made of filigreed wood, ornately carved and intricately laid.  During the week the community brought memorials, weddings, remembrances, momento’s and photograph’s.

Writings, drawings, wishes, prayers and shrines were placed in the interior, on the altars and on the grounds.  At the end of the week the traditional ritual of immolation was carried out to release all that was brought to the temple.

The Temple symbolises the past, present and future.  Remembering, honouring, cherishing, praying, wishing, giving gratitude and peace.  In amongst the many inscribing’s I wrote a message of love and hope for the future, to my family, friends and my Prince for our up-coming Wedding Day.

Message in the Temple of Juno.

The intricate detail of the Temple…

The Temple of Juno.

Below you can see a gathering of the community around the Temple watching the sunrise in the other direction as a new day of adventure starts on the playa.  If you look closely you can spot people capturing photographs to keep for a future viewing.

People gathered around the Temple of Juno at sunrise.

The morning sun appearing on the horizon with the promise of another day…

Sun rise.

Weekly Photo Challenge.