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  • Writer's pictureTemenos


Autumn leaves

Hide the path

So quietly’

Many of our guests, who have recently made return visits to Temenos, share with me their joy at how the garden has transformed from barren veld into what is now such a lush and wooded sanctuary. Certainly something to celebrate as we approach our twenty fifth anniversary. Stepping back in time to Temenos’ simple beginnings, I could then never have imagined how its beauty and tranquil ambience would unfold. It seems as if only yesterday I was turning the shale over to plant the first tree, and now I am watching hundreds of birds nesting in the shade of a little forest. One of the main reasons for twenty-five years of Temenos’ steady growth is undoubtedly the energy that guests themselves bring to our gardens. While many come to enjoy the beauty of McGregor, and the serenity and tranquillity of our gardens, there are also those who come with the intention to find inner stillness, rest and renewal. This embrace of both outer and inner peace is surely felt by the garden and her creatures who seem to welcome, in equal measure, the arrival of visitors.

As many of you will know allowing any vision to unfold organically takes much patience, ongoing passion and a sense of humour - especially in navigating times of growth and change. There will always be the seasons of challenge and loss, as well as those of abundance and joy. Those of you who love gardening will have developed the practice of becoming more accepting of the cycle of change especially during the in-between seasons of spring and autumn. Raking autumn leaves naturally brings to mind all those things that were once celebrated and enjoyed but which are also fleeting and impermanent. Autumn can also be an invitation to the heart and soul to listen at a deeper and wiser level. She can encourage us to take the outbreath that may be necessary to let go of anything in our lives that is outworn, broken, redundant and over burdensome.

There is an art to watching the autumn leaves fall, and to know when and where to leave their beauty and potential resting on the earth. Like our memories, they offer to enrich the ground of our being, and our hopes for new dreams.

May John O’Donohue’s blessings fall gently upon your path.

May you be generous in your embrace of loss,

May the nourishment of earth be yours.

May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life

And may there come across the waters,

A path of yellow moonlight

To bring you safely home.

With love,



Autumn in McGregor is a particular lovely time of year to visit. Crisp, clear champagne air during the day, and starry skies and log fires at night. It is also a great time to explore the village and local wineries, and walk or hike in our nature reserves. Our restaurants offers a delicious seasonal menu while our Temenos autumn programme has something on offer for everyone.


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