Sharing a sobering and poignant experience as a school principal of a special needs' school in South Africa.
These profound experiences contribute to our strength, fortitude and grit. This can facilitate one to make a success of life as an immigrant in a new country. And as someone once said to me, 'Immigration ain't for ninnies!' And likewise 'Staying in SA aint for ninnies either!'
My wonderful life experiences in SA helped
to make me a stronger woman ...
Sunshine child with laughing eyes
Eve Hemming- 2008
Someone once asked me
how my stories
germinate. I replied,
it, like a seed that
suddenly ripens and
sends out a little shoot.
After that it grows into
a robust bean stalk.”
One can’t lie in the bath contemplating one’s navel and beseech the words to flash across the bathroom tiles, or lie under a tree squinting up at the filtering sun rays; waiting with miserable hope. A story often pops into my head at the most inopportune moment, like when I’m burning the clutch in a traffic jam. I simply think … “Oh …. I hope I don’t lose that magic light-bulb thought before I can get home to scribble it down.”
The most precious child crossed my path today. She glowed far brighter than any light bulb. Just visualising her now makes my heart ache with a mixture of love and compassion.
The feelings which I experienced wrote the story for me. I didn’t need to ponder. The words wanted to empty out all over the room to express my turmoil.
So much in life makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There are so many children who don’t get a square deal in life, so much so that I think that humanity has developed a somewhat naïve and fantastical ideology about childhood.
Yes, it should be a paradise.
My sunshine child with laughing, downward-slanting eyes broke any bubble on the fantastical childhood theory. But I think what flabbergasted me more was her astonishing resilience; her profound “altogetherness” that brimmed over like an image of unsullied joy.
She left me with a smile and a hug. I couldn’t help wondering what magic tree she’d eaten fruit from to make her so 'okay', when there are so many foot-stamping, indulged miniature adults around.
The sunshine girl is HIV-positive. Her alcoholic “lady of the night” mother had a wicked boyfriend. He got the better of her when she was a little mite of three. She lives in foster care now, where she’s become a treasured soul. A real child.
of a local special needs' school.