These blossoms called me home


Everything began with the blossoming of the apricot trees. It was mid-Spring and the little town of Bonnievale was showing off. Driving through the Cape Winelands, an abundance of delicate pink flowers drew Sharon Cowell’s eye to a farm for sale. Having lived all over Africa, her family tired of constantly being on the move, she was searching for a place to settle. “I turned to my husband and said, ‘That’s the one’,” Cowell says.

For years, Cowell dreamt of a permanent home for her family. From city to city and one country to the next, she never quite found what she needed. “We were looking for a place where there were no people, no cars, no robots,” Cowell says. Bonnievale, set in the Breede River Valley with a population of no more than 10 000, proved to be perfect. Cowell moved to the town filled with possibly more fruit trees than people, and set about creating a sanctuary. She named the farm Light Intentions, which speaks back to Cowell’s goal to respect the space around her, and create as little impact on the earth as possible.

Much of Cowell’s time is spent outdoors, witnessing nature unfold. She knows for sure why this place is idyllic. “The simplicity of the life we live here, watching everything sprout and grow,” Cowell says. At the farm, she hosts retreats for others to experience the same joy. “I want to share my space because it brings people such serenity,” she says. The greatest pleasures are sitting beneath a majestic tree and taking in the views, the distant sounds of laughter rolling off the hills, and the trickles of a nearby stream. Places like these aren’t just a picturesque landscape, but what you make of them. And Cowell has turned her haven into a home for all.