:  Working towards a better tomorrow 	together cat on boxes

"The first step
towards getting
is to decide
that you are
going to stay
where you are"


Moving Moments

Greyton snow capped 			mountains Ever since I can remember I have dreamt of living in a space surrounded by mountains, forests and rivers. And now, finally, having reached a point in my life when I no longer had commitments that bound me to a city life, I sold my house in the city, and moved to a small village in the Overberg district of the Western Cape, called Greyton.

This is not the first time I have moved. I wonder at the nine moves I have undertaken since my early adulthood. Three of those were by choice; the rest circumstantially provoked. I hope however that having used up my nine "lives" as it were, this is the last move I will have undertaken pending my final move into the great unknown at the time of my death. Perhaps the fact that Greyton is literally at the end of the road before the mountains, I can take that symbolically.

According to an article by Will Stone published in the Express that lists the major stressors we might experience in our lifetime, I have been exposed to all of the top stressors and most of them precipitated the need to move. It is perhaps small wonder that having now moved into a place that some have called a piece of heaven, I have finally been able to take the time out to rest and heal. I do aologise to the users of my website for not having kept up the pace of regularly posting new articles, but at the same time I have needed the past three years to just STOP the rushing need to DO and enjoy the peace of this moment in time.

And this is where I pause to reflect. Perhaps a parallel can be drawn here between the physical act of moving house and the emotional act of moving on; of letting go of anger, self doubt, self deprecation and other dark emotions that come with the territory of traumatic life events. Both are hard decisions to make and, as with all decisions, both involve the reality of loss and gain. There are many who talk about moving on as if it were the easiest thing in the world. And yet it is so hard and so much easier to become a prisoner of the things that have been done to us; that have hurt, disrupted and traumatised our lives. Sometimes it seems to be impossible to set them aside and make a deliberate choice to move on. Horse in black and white And yet it is those moments of decision, what I like to call the moving moments of our lives, that spur us on and move us forwards on our life's not always easy journey. And since so often these moving moments come with deeper insights and understanding, they should be treasured in our memory banks as the golden cornerstones of our foundations.

I think a mistake that many make is the, in my opinion, false belief, that moving on from past hurts and pain means forgiving and forgetting. I believe that tryig to do this in a forced way could be the very thing that anchors us into not moving forward in a healthy way. These are topics for another time but I would like to say that I am not a believer in cheap grace. What I do believe is that the memories of both the traumas and the successes and joys of our past, are what makes up the tapestry of who we are in the present. To negate the one and only focus on the other can lead to an unhealthy imbalance in our holistic wholeness. A healthy heart beats up and down along the life line - it is the manic heart that ticks up and up and the depressed one that ticks down and down. So I do not promote forgetting; just not drowning in the quagmire of our hurts.

cat: taking a moment to reflect As with a household move, a decision to "move on" comes with its own special kinds of rewards. There is the culling of unwanted baggage, taking with us items and memories that will enrich the new life, and a stirring of our creative energies as we plan our future both inner and outer gardens and decorate our new both inner and outer homes. It is a process of looking forward as we meet and engage with new people and new life experiences in a positive way. is a site dedicated to encouragement, affirmation and healing of broken spirits. My goal is to encourage open debate on topics related to life, that might be philosophical,motivational and/or inspirational and improved communication not just with others but also ourselves, in ways that affirm, encourage and uplift.

Robyn Simon McClure

Food for Thought

vegetable plant Many of us know the story of seeds that fall on good ground and prosper, or on rocky ground where they become strangled by weeds and die. It's often occurred to me however, that the good gardener would never scatter seeds randomly without first taking time to trench and compost - building good foundations for the survival of the plant. How often in our lives do we allow voices around us to plant weeds into our inner gardens and like weeds, how much more quickly these bad seeds can take root and grow, smothering the good seeds that hold the promise of abundant life. As caretakers of our own inner gardens, it is up to us to root out the weeds and provide good compost, made up from the mix of memories of life experiences, dug over and turned into a healthy mix to feed our inner gardens. It is up to us to water, prune and fertilise, on an ongoing basis, those growing plants and to keep a vigilant watch for pests that secretly seek to destroy the hope of the abundant promise that was seen in the growing plants.

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Places to treasure

view from Sir Lowrie's Pass summit Previously I wrote about the Whale Coast, but bypassing this turn off takes the traveller up over Sir Lowrie's Pass with it's magnificent views of Gordon's Bay towards Cape Town.

Steenbras River: Western Cape Elgin Valley Apple Orchard Once safely over the mountain, the road crosses the Steenbras river, before passing through the Elgin Valley with its extensive apple tree plantations, followed by forests, fynbos and rivers.

Houwhoek Pass

Soon after, a second mountain pass, the Houwhoek Pass, has to be crossed when making one's way to Greyton from Cape Town. And then, passing the turn off to Hermanus, which will be a topic for another day, the scenic surrounds soon change from the rugged mountain fynbos to well cultivated and beautifully laid out farmlands. In August/September, fields of golden canola stretch across the landscape. Closing in on Caledon, several windmills stand stark against the horizon, as tecnological advancement joins the rural, in ecological responsibility. Windmills near Caledon, Overberg district, Western Cape

The turn off to Greyton is about 5 km short of Caledon. Farms now become home to sheep and cattle, farm homesteads add to the sceninc enjoyment of this trip, and soon after crossing the Sonderend (without end) river,Sonderend River near Greytonentrance to Genadendal history takes over. The first historic landmark is Genadendal, the first missionary station in South Africa.

village at the end of the road And finally at the very end of the road, nestling under the Riviersonderend mountain range lies Greyton. Founded in 1854, Greyton today has maintained many of its historic landmarks. What sets it apart from other villages, are some of the best restaurantes in the Western Cape A gift shop in Greytonand its quaint gift shops, Von Gesau chocolate and charming inns and guest houses. It is no surprise to residents but quite a surprise to visitors, to meet free roaming cows, horses and donkeys, not just on the well laid out hiking and montain bike trails, but also in the village itself, which adds an essence of rural charm to what has been listed as one of the 25 best towns to visit in South Africa.

Workshops and Services

"Talking with . . . "

so often we talk to or talk at rather than with another person. These workshops examine not only listening skills but also response skills

"Negotiating anger"

engaging in conflict in a positive way

"I am"

a challenging exploration of our personal identities and self concepts

"I care"

basic listening and counselling skills for the lay person

Carer support

working in a caring occupation, whether professionally or as a volunteer, can come at huge emotional cost. This is a place to meet with others and explore that cost

Sounding Board

if you would like to talk with Robyn, please email her on with your comments and/or concerns