It's hard to believe that it's almost a month since we flew back to New Zealand.... in some ways it's as crystal clear as yesterday that we were there... I can still hear the sounds... and can smell the smell of African rain on red dust, the smell of freshly cut grass, the smell of a veld fire. I can still hear the 'Piet my Vrou' calling...and I can hear dogs barking and our son's neighbour's wretched car as he maniacally revved it to a clanging crescendo each morning whilst we stayed there.
And now we are back.
I'm back at work as though I'd never been away. My office walls are decorated with pictures of my NZ and SA 'cherubs' - all six of them. In New Zealand Maori, a grandchild is called a 'mokopuna'. My 'moko's' pics smile at me and get me through each day. How I long to hold and kiss them all. Sometimes Skype just 'doesn't do it.' But hell, it's loads better than no Skype.
One has to look forwards and not perpetually 'in the rear view mirror'. So it's about living in the here and now and enjoying local people and places without discounting that that part of one's life in Africa is still palpably part of one and always will be. So yes, my next trip back to Africa is planned. But for now we have some exciting ideas swirling around in the ether, are engaged in interesting things, meeting people, going places and sharing quality time with 'Saffer' family and 'Saffer' and Kiwi mates.
Going back does, without a doubt, unsettle one. When there, one easily gets seduced into the lifestyle and so easily puts on the blinkers and shuts out some of the uncomfortable truths. But yes, we were seduced...
It was good; it was good for the soul.
My soul was kissed...
We made those special connections with family and friends again, and for me my connection with my grand children was profound.
We still dream of our loved ones coming.... but then I remember Kahlil Gibran's 'The Prophet' and I try to be patient... it could take forever, or never or soon... and it's their lives, not ours... but we love them all boundlessly; those Close and those Far.
And so I must rest my silly heart a while...
'Your children are not your children... '
ON CHILDREN - FROM 'THE PROPHET'
'And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
"Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot
visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
He bends you with
His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow
that is stable. '
Art by Thayloos - on Photobucket
For SA to NZ 'Saffers',
check out Amakiwi & KiwiSaffers.
And for global 'Saffer' Expats there's
'South African Expats' on Face Book.