Excursion Spotlight: Kirstenbosch Gardens

On a cool winter day, the girls visited the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, exchanging the usual pink and purple-painted walls of St. Michael’s for a world of green.

The excursion started with hot drinks in a cafe to chase away the chill in the air. Afterwards, the girls walked through the miles of foliage, drinking in the scents of the garden and taking in the beautiful views seen from atop the canopy bridge walk.

During this time, their host, a volunteer, talked to them about the importance of mindfulness. Appreciating the small parts of each moment and paying attention to the sensations and emotions of the present are all important steps to becoming more mindful, she explained.

Her lessons were interrupted by a battalion of curious geese that attempted to steal bites of the girls’ lunches, only growing braver as time went on. Still, the concept of mindfulness is a concept that St. Michael’s values and attempts to instill on the girls. In addition to excursions to places full of natural beauty like Kirstenbosch, the girls are also exposed to yoga and meditation classes as well as mindfulness lessons.

“Each morning we are born again,” writes Buddha. “What we do today is what matters most.” Amidst the abundant beauty of the gardens, it was not hard to feel the freshness and possibility alive in each new moment.