Let me introduce you to my eighty-eight-page book, ‘Take a Walk with Me’. This book took me about 20 years to compile, and it showcases some of my art, photography and forty-one poems. A most difficult aspect of the book was coming up with a title and cover. Believe me, folks, I even prayed about this as I was stumped. After months of trying to come up with a title, one day, I was looking at one of my paintings called ‘Stargazer on the Dunes’, of a camel gazing at the stars when I had a ‘light-bulb’ moment – I knew that this was the cover for the book. In that moment I recalled a short poem I had written, ‘Take a Walk with Me’. The painting and the poem complemented each other and so the title and cover were ‘born’.
My poetry is illustrated with one hundred and thirteen works of art, and forty of my photographs, including a number of pen drawings which I used in the text. I also added inspirational quotes alongside the poetry to give the reader something extra to ponder on. Each page of the book is illustrated in full colour.
This book is a culmination not only of a portion of my life-work, but my spiritual journey which for me started with the great Creator and His creative works. Through my journey of discovering nature and trying to fathom out life, people and relationships I came to the realisation that I was pouring all of these experiences into my art, poetry, and photography. One of my poems sums this up very well: Spirit of Nature
The contents of the book are diverse, and because of this, I have difficulty explaining it in depth without going into a long description and I would rather keep this explanation short. One constant in my journey was nature, and I have discovered that through the study of nature all paths lead to one answer to all of the questions I had, and that answer is God. Nature is answerable only to its Creator and by applying that knowledge to my life, my life has done a turn-around! My former life is a mere shadow of what I have become thanks to the amazing impact of God.
The poetry in the book is made up of some short poetry, with titles like ‘Little Lizard’, ‘Tiny Spider’, ‘Touch of a Garden’, but there are also story poems like ‘A Rhino’s Tale’, ‘The Tombstone’, ‘The Loneliest Buffalo’, ‘Hidden Identities’, ‘It is not for a Tree to tell a Tale’ etc. Every single poem is something I have studied or experienced about nature and my thoughts on life. Art and photography have also taught me to see what most people do not notice.
One aspect of my life which has shaped me is my environment. I am truly blessed to have grown up and still currently reside in one of the most diverse environments in the world, the lowveld of South Africa. I am surrounded by nature, and have a miniature botanical garden ten meters from where I sit and, I live an hour away from the Kruger National Park. Life does not get more inspirational than this, especially for a creative person.
With regard to my talents, I accept them humbly as they are a gift. I believe that when God sees that we use our talents in a wholesome way that glorifies Him, He blesses us with more talents. I started off as an artist and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would write poetry, publish a book, become a photographer and write a blog! Even my art has evolved beyond what I thought it would. It was like a river took me along for the ride – a bumpy one at that, but nevertheless an inspiring journey. Doors have opened that I never thought I would enter.
This book is food for the soul and would be best enjoyed while quietly sitting under the shade of tree, watching the sea in its moods or even huddled under a blanket on a cold winter’s day, as long as it is read in a tranquil setting.