EXCERPTS FROM MANNA IN THE DESERT:
I absolutely love the writings from Alfred de Jager Jackson’s book, MANNA IN THE DESERT, originally published in 1920. Their farm in the Karoo “where you find rest for the body and comfort for the troubled soul” had been in their family for generations.
Alfred’s insights, descriptions and tales bear heavily upon me, as he describes the ”home of want and of plenty”. He is a true Karoo son.
Alfred’s introductory chapter to this book is called Likeness of the Karroo. No spelling error….this is how Karoo was written in days gone by.
To what shall we liken this Great Karroo?…..
desert of frowns and smiles land of drought and rains place of lean and fat home of want and plenty wilderness of desolation garden of beauty country of sadness barren plains dead mountains that yet hold so much life. house of sorrow and yet of much rejoicing
Alfred de Jager Jackson described the Karroo in its days of its drought and desolation as a wonderful but very sad woman, whose noble head is adorned with raven-black tresses that become her so well.She is stately and gracious, because her sadness and sorrow are hidden.The following day….the sun rises…..her raven locks become golden and radiant, lit up by the morning orb.But….there are heavy dews upon her brow, they hang upon her lashes. She weeps, though she tries to smile bravely. The early north-wind gently stirs her garments of sombre brown, gathering the fragrance of the sweet herbs.It kisses away the sad dews upon her brow and her eyes.You feel and know that the rains will come. They will wash off the Lines and Tears of Sorrow. They will drive away the Want and the Leanness and the Barrenness.
We have been deeply involved with our farm in the Karoo for the past 20 years.Only 20 years!…time has flown.
Besides our children, “the farm” has been our most important endeavour, a very great joy and a huge learning curve for us!It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be custodians of a small part of God’s earth. We do all that we are able to sustain and nurture this precious part of the world given to us.