Saturday 11 December 2021



I was thinking this morning..... about the magic of nature. With 19 days to year end, no doubt 2021 has been very stressful for many. While many may be suffering from 'Zoom fatigue' with the marathon online meetings that have become their life, others are just worn out physically. For me, the burial I attended at Akure last weekend afforded me an opportunity for a 'staycation' since Covid restrictions are preventing vacations.

Our day started when we took a short ride (about 24km) from Akure to the ancient town of Idanre, location of the famous Idanre hills. The sheer sight of hills on both sides of the road as we entered the town gave away how beautiful and breathtaking nature could be. No wonder, the son of Oduduwa that first discovered the magnificent range of hills was provoked to exclaim 'Idan ree!', meaning 'This is magic' in yoruba.

To kick start our adventure, we started at 'Ibi Akasu' at the base of the hill and climbed 682 steps to the top with 5 resting points. At the peak of the hill standing at about 3000 feet above sea level, the view of the new town was just stunning. As I stood with hands akimbo looking at the ancient town below, like Oduduwa's son, I shouted 'Idan ree!'.

At the top, we visited the Old Primary School, Igbo Ore elementary primary school built in 1896, and the first customary court built in 1906. When I saw how the hills were elaborately designed with one mimicking the face of a chimpanzee and others neatly arranged on each other, I asked 'who arranged these rocks?' With no response, I bellowed 'Idan ree!'.

Truly Idanre hills is not for the faint hearted. During the adventure, our tour guide gave us a simple instruction not to look back while ascending nor look up when descending. One of us made light the instructions and looked up on our way downhill. The view was so frightening that she froze and became a pillar, but this time not of salt like Lot's wife. When we finally got downhill, we laughed and my young wife said, 'now I understand why Lot's wife became a pillar of salt when she did not obey a simple instruction not to look back.'

The four hours we spent at Idanre hills was very soothing confirming the saying that nature is the antidote to fatigue and stress. Interact with nature by smelling a flower, listen to birds sing or go hiking because Psalm 147:8-9 says 'He covers the heavens with clouds; prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills.' In this season, if you can't afford a vacation, go for a staycation and if that is not possible, then try a 'solocation.' Whatever it is, find time to unwind and rest from all the stress.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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