One of the first things I noticed when I stopped smoking was how cigarettes punctuated time. They define the beginning or the start of something and then mark the end. Pieces of time neatly compartmentalised, the beginning, middle and end of a timeline. The slow lethargic morning smoke, a capital letter starting the day and the contemplative smoke at the end of the evening. The full stop. Nothing says Friday quite like that first drag with a drink in hand, facing the ocean. It marks the moment. Not that I still miss it – now I mark the moment by ordering something even more indulgent and take tremendous pleasure in the return of my senses and the smell of the sea.
Of course the most significant markers of time is ones birthday. Another year, like lines on the bark of a tree. Are your roots stronger? Have you managed to free your branches, are they growing towards the sky and swaying in the wind or becoming more and more entangled with others, only just hovering above ground, moss covered and in the damp shadows?
Birthdays – I can’t say I always enjoyed them – I always had great expectations and was inevitably disappointed. Spoilt? Yes most definitely. With the family I have, I am and have always been the luckiest girl alive – so yes – undeniably spoilt! Last year turning 30, the truth of the world suddenly thrust its full weight on me. Empowering is when you realise you have choices and confidence blossoms when you throw the bullshit fear off your back, in between there are bound to be moments when you gasp for air. I think it is just part of the process.
My birthday week and weekend was filled to the brim with much hustle and bustle. Not one moment passed , when I didn’t fully acknowledge how truly lucky and blessed I am to have the friends I have. I received the most amazing thoughtful gifts and felt surrounded by awesomeness the entire time. The fact that I use awesome and Yay a thousand times a day…well let’s just say – DT in her 20’s probably wouldn’t approve. I had cake, flowers, wine, tequila, books, perfume, music, belly dancing, humus, dancefloors, rooftops, camera’s, movies, pizza for breakfast, jewellery, laughter, the most amazing friends, lotions and potions and birthday cards adorned with heart warming words. The blessing: All but one were not in my life 12 months before. A second chapter – more like a different book.
It is a newfound lightness of spirit I will wear into my next year – I am wholly proud of my branches swaying in the wind and I am honestly excited and intrigued to see what else is round the corner.
Rapturous, Delicious and delirious – Friday on a hot summers day
My brother will be in the city tonight – and no doubt a big Joburg crowd will gather, tomorrow I plan on taking my first trip to Kirstenbosch Gardens to celebrate a lovely lady’s birthday and the evening another Charismatic Scorpio celebrates his birthday. I really do love November!