Monday, May 6, 2013


Full Moon at Lake Logan
I worked for my home diocese’s summer camp, Camp Henry, all through college. I have so many amazing memories from those 5 summers on staff. It’s nice to be able to reminisce about those days while I’m here in Lesotho. One of my favorite times of each summer at Lake Logan was the full moon. I loved it for many reasons, one being that it made for amazing photography, but the biggest reason being that each summer it felt like that moonrise was meant just for me. It's like God was saying, "Hey kid, get a load of this!" I know probably countless people have seen the full moon over Lake Logan, but every summer it felt like I was seeing something that had never happened before and that I was blessed to be seeing it. Out of 5 summers full of memories, the full moon stands out brightly in my mind.

Flash-forward to Lesotho a few months back. I was riding back to Mantsonyane from Maseru one Sunday evening with Ntate Lekhotla, the hospital mechanic. I don’t know how it timed out so perfectly, but we arrived at St. James right as the sun was setting and the full moon was rising over the mountains surrounding the hospital. The sky was a color of purple that I’ve never seen before in my life. I can only describe it as the heavens opening. It is literally one of the most awe-inspiring sites I’ve ever seen. My camera was either packed away or wasn’t with me so I didn’t get a photo, but from that point on I was determined to catch this moonrise on film.

The conditions were finally perfect last week to capture this scene. The sky was not quite the color it was the first time I saw it, but it was still incredible.  Not a day goes by that the beauty of this country doesn’t blow me away. There’s beauty not only in the natural surroundings (which I want to point out are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous), but it’s also in the people and the culture. Make no mistake, life in Lesotho and especially in the Mantsonyane area is hard. Little to no employment, little to no transportation available, high sickness rates, and very cold weather during the winter months to name just a few things. But the people are resilient. Life is simply at a different pace.

There’s a spot by the river that I’ve been going to recently. It’s on a high cliff that looks over the river gorge, which is the main water source for the hospital and surrounding community. I go here and I sit, and I listen. One thing I love about Mantsonyane is that there is NO background noise. No airplanes overhead, no far-off cars cruising down the freeway, no loud music endlessly blasting away (Ok, that last one’s not always true). But that’s not to say that Mantsonyane is silent. In fact, it’s far from it. Sitting by the river you’ll hear many things. You’ll hear a herd boy singing while the bells around his cows’ necks jingle softly. You’ll hear the late autumn wind blowing down the gorge. You’ll hear the bah-ing chorus of a flock of grazing sheep high above you on a cliff. You’ll hear a village singing just over the ridge and the women giving their powerful ululations. Plain and simple, you’ll hear life. It’s a life that hasn’t changed in a very long time, and it is overwhelmingly beautiful.

Thomas Merton once said that, “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” My life, compared to most of the world, is not normal. Even by American standards, it’s not normal for someone to pack up and move half way across the world (not to mention doing it again next year!).  But what I’ve found is that God finds ways to show me how blessed I truly am, no matter where I might be. Whether it be on the field at Lake Logan during the summer’s full moon, on a cliff high in the Maulti’s watching the same full moon rise over the mountains, or sitting over the river listening to the sounds of a life very different from my own. God always finds ways to plant these things in my soul. Blessed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. Until next time, Sala hantle.

1 comment:

  1. Full moons remind me of my summer camp too! We sang a song called, "Bright White Moon"..... If the bright white moon finds us well tonight, 7 times better may we be when it sets....Thanks for sharing, Jared!