I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but finding yourself is not always that easy. First of all you have to know that you are lost. Then you have to kind of wait for yourself to reappear, as it were, and only when you are ready, does everything start to fall into place. If there is one thing I learned this past year it is that you can’t force the process, you just have to pay attention and go with the flow. I have only just begun to understand this.
When I first moved to the farm I threw myself into keeping busy. I had to create a new life, but I couldn’t let go of the old. I travelled back to Durban every fortnight to continue with my Italian class, go shopping at the Mall and meet friends for coffee. I also volunteered at a preschool for AIDs orphans in Howick (the nearest town to me), joined a yoga class there and, when I wasn’t driving backwards and forwards, I gardened like a woman demented. I created so much garden that the farm started to look like the bloody Chelsea Flower Show. I drew up schedules to try and keep track of where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. All this because I didn’t want to face up to just how lost I was feeling.
I do believe that the universe conspires to point us in the right direction. Sometimes we don’t listen and then it tends to jump up and slap us in the face. Well last year, because I wasn’t listening, the final message it sent was a broken bone in my foot and that stopped me in my tracks. I was forced to calm down. Driving was painful so I stopped going back to Durban every second weekend and instead Peter started visiting me at the farm. I very sadly said arrivederci to my Italian classmates. This was difficult as we had been together for a long time and shared a lot of good times over the years. I don’t miss the shopping malls but Vicki, if you read this, mi mancano i nostri caffè insieme e le nostre chiacchierate!
I neglected my social responsibilities, yoga was impossible and so was gardening, thank god! I started contemplating my navel and I learned to be still. Believe it or not, I discovered weeding as a form of meditation. As I sat on my front lawn absorbed in pulling out weeds, I started to listen and pay attention and every now and then I would look up and watch the most spectacular sunset over the ‘berg.
I used to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, asking myself: “what the hell am I doing here and how I did I get here?” And then slowly it all started to fall into place and I began to reappear. I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone; I just had to be true to me. In the words of Dr Seuss: Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you !