Neglected little blog. Leaving one world behind to explore others. It has been an emotional couple of weeks. Somewhere, somehow I lost my feet, my foundation started feeling a bit shaky. Strange little incidents had me searching for meaning. Questioning all of my decisions, God it became exhausting. Then I had the paranoid notion that maybe I had let my guard down, wore my heart on my sleeve, perhaps in the wrong company. It is so easy to climb aboard a slippery slide, the increase in momentum as you go hurtling faster and faster down a ride of uncertainty, regret, self doubt. Going home for a wedding couldn’t have come at a better time! Let’s face it I needed my Mother!
I landed in a dusty brown Joburg. Miles and Miles of ground upturned and flattened, soon to become more frustrated, steamy concrete highways. The pilot joked and welcomed us to Zimbabwe. I don’t know if it was the starkness of the Highveld that prompted her – but the blonde in front turned to her boyfriend quite alarmed that they had taken the wrong plane. I was dazzled by the light and the heat. The sun stung my skin within minutes. It was wonderful being with my loud, lovely and characterful family. Everywhere I went the air was heavy with the smell of Jasmine and yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I still can’t believe my little cousin is a married woman. The wedding was emotional for the entire family. Aunts, Uncles, cousins – we were all choked up, everyone with a similar look on their faces. This was going to be a very different family gathering and nothing would be taken for granted. With her Father by her side in spirit only, my beautiful cousin walked down the aisle to the sound of Bittersweet Symphony – by the Verve. It was so perfect, I still don’t know how I managed to stifle the sobs and wails that stuck like glue in my throat, me… the stoic one of the family. I was completely moved. Standing next to my Dad in his kilt my Mom in her diamonds and black sequined dress.
As kids the four of us grew up together; the bride and her sister, my brother and I. We were practically inseparable. Went away together, camping trips or a rented house in Durban. We planned great theatrical plays, complete with grand costumes and furniture rearrangement, the end goal was to charm our parents so much that they would have to yes when we asked for a sleep over! We made up songs and dances and played adventure games in the forest (aka Gran’s garden)
The wedding happened at The Cradle. It was hot, dry, African Bush at its best. Everyone in colour looked quite dazzling against the backdrop of thorny, acacia trees, wild tall grass and dirt roads. Especially the Mother of the Bride in emerald green and black. We were told there were wild animals to be seen, but with a Pimms and ginger ale in everyone’s hand and the sheer scale of the event, I think some of the giraffe and buck went unnoticed.
People in Joburg live large. Fast cars, big houses, lush gardens. I suppose it is a choice you make and to be honest I do miss it. My family is larger than ever. Still close. Loud, rich, powerful. As a group we fascinate the outsiders. Often I am cornered in bathrooms by inquisitive woman asking me a host of questions about where I fit in? Which one is my Mother? How many Aunts and Uncles are there? I always feel a great surge of pride when I am with them.
I am back at work now. Trying hard to adjust to the Cape’s Icy winds and tackling one email, one project at a time. Two weeks work getting done in one. There is something seriously wrong with this leave process. Surely it was designed and enforced so that people can maintain a level of productivity and not burn out. Yet when all is said and done, you kill yourself to get everything done before you leave, then have to catch up with mountains upon your return.
I have much more to write about Joburg…