Jafta and Katriena are not people who take pills — they prefer to rely on nature's medicine. Even when he was a young boy, Jafta would visit the mountains to collect healing herbs. Now aged 84, he still cycles out to the mountains to hunt for herbs.
Reflections of Life produces gorgeous short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people, with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. We feel hugely blessed to feature video-stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine capture with exquisite expertise, and which so beautifully illustrate grateful living principles and practices. In this short film we hear from Jafta and Katriena.
Jafta: I am Jaffa Pietersen. I am now 84, and this year I turn 85.
Katriena: This man rides his bike far and wife in search of herbs. It’s a herb hunt, hey? [laughs] Oh goodness me, Jafta.
All these years, it’s just him and his herbs. I can’t pull him away from it. I tell him to forget about the herbs.
Jafta: I can’t, I can’t.
Yes, I love herbs. They call me, “come here, come closer.” Then I disappear quickly. [laughs]
Katriena: For about three days, isn’t that true Jafta? For three sometimes four days, he’s in the wild. That’s where he finds the herbs.
Jafta: At night I crawl under a bush or into a cave in the mountains, and I lie and sleep there. A leopard has come and sniffed my feet at night. The leopard obviously didn’t like the smell of my feet because he turned away and left me alone.
From when I was a young child I’ve always enjoyed the fresh air and nature. It gives you a different feeling, calm…you feel peaceful. There is always something that catches your attention and teaches you something.
While I worked with my elders, they taught me that you only take what you need. You should leave something being, like roots, so that it can grow again. Those who come after us also need to draw from the earth. We must not destroy the earth. It needs to be able to grow again. We should leave nature in a better state than we found it, then we will be well blessed.
Katriena: When he comes back, he always has some herbs with him.
Jafta: When I come home at least she will be satisfied. She won’t chase me away.
Katriena: We are not people who take pills. We prefer the herbs. It’s the herbs that have kept us healthy.
Jafta: The herbs cleanse you, they pick you up, and they turn an old man into a young man.
Katriena: Oh, Jafta!
Jafta: The ‘Willekeurtjie’ en die ‘Rooivergeet’, they give you lots of energy.
Katriena: You should see how he loves sharing those herbs with people who ask. That’s what Jafta does.
Jafta: It’s in my blood. The herbs are there to help me in my need, and also to help other people who are sick.
Just like she loves giving bread and food to the children that come here, I give herbs to people who are sick.
Katriena: We do it out of love.
Jafta: You don’t expect anything in return, you give freely from your heart. It’s within me to give, not only to receive, but to give. To show respect and appreciation. To heal others, and to give herbs to my wife to keep her young. To share what you have, and to make each other happy, those are some of the most joyful things in life. What matters most is love. You must have love in your heart.
Justine and Michael are a creative couple living in South Africa. Their project, Reflections of Life (formerly Green Renaissance), works to spread positive stories that reflect the wonder of the world. With the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change, they produce gorgeous short films that are posted online and available for anyone, anywhere, to watch and share freely.
Through their films, they explore what it means to be human. They touch on topics that can often be difficult for people to discuss – from loss of a loved one to aging and retirement to friendship to love and courage – universal themes that we all deal with at some stage in our lives.
By sharing these stories, Justine and Michael hope to remind us of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges. We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think. Learn more and support their work at reflectionsof.life.