01 April 2021

From Darkness into Light...

'Being in the Moment' at Kirstenbosch Garden : A Tribute to my Special Friend, Joseph Inns 

From Darkness into Light... Copyright Vernon Chalmers Strelitzia Flower - Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town
Strelitzia Flower - Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” – Og Mandino

At Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town  (for turning sadness into comfort and inspirational moments - for being in the moment)

It was with eager anticipation that I prepared my camera bag for an early morning photography session at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. I have not been there in more than a year - and during this time was left with sad memories of a special person that unfortunatly consumed too much of my life.

On this glorious and fresh sunny Friday morning I went back to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden with one of my photography club friends, Karen Donaldson, (a dear friend of mine for many years and also a friend of my best friend, Joseph Inns, who is now very ill - I've never been to Kirstenbosch with either of them).

I had one of the very best mornings ever at Kirstenbosch, free to roam the gardens and to think about love, life and to share the crispness of the beautiful morning with a real friend.

Love and Fear
In "Conversations with God", Neale Walsch wrote something to this effect, what God said - "When you meet your biggest Love, you will meet your biggest Fear". I grappled with this for months. I became Fear.... and this was so profoundly true - in every breath I took. It took me months and months of working through personal conditioning efforts to understand / unpack this Fear. - it was a case of my own cognitive awareness of trying to recondition my brain for overcoming this Fear (and the lingering sadness).

Mental Health and Motivation : From Darkness into Light...  Copyright Vernon Chalmers
From Darkness into Light... Butterfly : Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town
Personal Support
I've had the greatest support over the last 6 - 8 months to get my mojo as photographer and person back. It will be unfair to identify any individual in my healing, but you know who you are.

Some of of you I unfriended from Facebook, because any reminders of her which was hurting me to the core, was just to challenging at times. I will never forget you, your words, your wisdom, to carry me back into the true light of life and photography.

Mental Health and Motivation : From Darkness into Light... Copyright Vernon Chalmers
From Darkness into Light... Small Bird  : Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town

Update: 25 August 2021
Its been a year since I walked away and removed myself from this abusive and toxic relationship. I have certainly gained a fair amount of (relationship) behavioural knowledge and understanding during this soul-searching journey. It will still require some processing to finally let this relationship slide completely into the past.

The flashbacks and feeling of disappointment still lingers, but I have to steer the course towards a life without reminding myself of the constant misery and sadness that consumed my being.

Returning to Kirstenbosch
I have been back to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden quite a few times for small bird and flower photography since writing this post earlier in 2021. It is definably becoming easier to go back. I have had some wonderful photography mornings there - images can be viewed here, here and here.

From Therapeutic Journaling to Online Publishing

© Vernon Chalmers : Mental Health and Motivation (From Darkness into Light... at Kirstenbosch)

"From Darkness into Light...

“From Darkness into Light” is a powerful metaphor for the journey of overcoming challenges and finding hope and healing. This phrase often resonates deeply with those who have faced difficult times, such as recovering from an abusive relationship or dealing with addiction.

Key Themes:
  • Resilience: The journey from darkness to light symbolizes the strength and resilience required to overcome adversity. It highlights the ability to endure and eventually thrive despite hardships.
  • Hope: Moving towards the light represents hope and the belief that better days are ahead. It’s about finding a sense of purpose and direction after a period of struggle.
  • Healing: This journey involves healing from past wounds, whether emotional, psychological, or physical. It’s about taking steps towards recovery and self-improvement.
  • Transformation: The process signifies personal growth and transformation. It’s about evolving into a stronger, wiser, and more compassionate version of oneself.
  • Support: Often, this journey is not taken alone. Support from friends, family, or professionals can be crucial in helping someone move from darkness into light.

Inspirational Quote:

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” - Victor Hugo

This quote encapsulates the essence of moving from darkness into light, reminding us that no matter how tough things get, there is always hope for a brighter future." (Source: Microsoft Copilot)

Image Information

Image 1: Strelitzia Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

Image 2: African Monarch Butterfly Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

Image 3: Cape Robin-Chat Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

Image 4: Pincushion Protea Flower Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

Mental Health and Motivation : From Darkness into Light... Copyright Vernon Chalmers
From Darkness into Light... Pincushion Protea Flower : Kirstenbosch, Cape Town