Thursday, January 29, 2015

Look Up!

Earlier this month we joined the mad rush of traffic returning home after the Christmas/New Year holidays. The trip from Paradise Beach would take us a good 12 hours of driving, so we planned to take a break and have brunch in the historic town of Graaff-Reinet. However, when we arrived there, we found queues of cars blocking the streets outside the petrol (gas) stations and tearooms, so we decided to avoid the crowds and we drove off the beaten track to Nieu Bethesda. This tiny Karoo village, nestled in a valley, is an oasis of peace and tranquility. There are no bank or credit card facilities, petrol pumps, post office or street lights.

Attracted by the large shady trees and the strumming of a guitar, we went into the garden of "The Melting Pot".
Outside "The Melting Pot"
As we relaxed and enjoyed the glorious mix of furniture, colourful table cloths and crockery, we felt our tiredness melt away. We ordered omelettes and they were delicious- well worth the detour we had made and the extra hour or two we added to our trip.

Our table
 As we chatted, we noticed a sign in the garden saying "Toilet", We laughed and joked about going down the garden path.

Before we left, I went to the little round building which housed the toilet at the end of the garden path.

  As I walked in, I saw a sign on the floor:

The sign

 Look up? Okay.

So I looked up and saw

a ceiling of violins and bows!

I don't know what I expected to see, but certainly not musical instruments. What were they doing there?

A phone call to Belinda, the friendly owner of "The Melting Pot", soon solved the mystery. Her husband, a violinist, used to make violins and this small building had once been a storeroom. He now specialises in making bows, and the violins and bows in the ceiling were forgotten. When the room was needed for a washroom for visitors to the tea garden, the instruments were discovered and the couple decided to leave them in situ. So now they are a unique feature adding to the charm of "The Melting Pot".

I visualised the violins being used to praise God, the Creator of music and shady trees. But what else might I see if I look up?

I might see birds flying above, which remind me that I am worth more than the sparrows which are not forgotten by God (Luke 12:6) . And if I wait on the Lord, I will renew my strength and soar like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31).

I might see hills and mountains which remind me that my help comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2)

I might see a rainbow reminding me of the many promises of God.

And most of all, I love looking up at the sky.  I marvel at the clouds, colors, the sun, the moon and stars which bring to mind these wonderful words:

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands,
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the end of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV)

What do you see when you look up?


  1. Lovely pictures and a reminder to look up and see possibilities!

  2. Absolutely incredible. Fancy having all those once-valuable instruments as a ceiling decoration in the toilet! Think of all the hours of work. Sjoe!

  3. Love this, Ruth! Made me think about how important it is for us to not overlook the details around us by rushing through life too quickly. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lovely ceiling decoration, but I wish those instruments were making music!

  5. Fascinating story! Now, that is unique! I love looking up into the trees around my house when they are blowing in the wind. It always makes me feel close to the Father.