Is it just me or are you also surprised to find that we’re more than half way through January already? 2017 shot across the starting line like Lance Armstrong on EPO (I’ve just watched The Program so that’s the image that springs to mind)!
Alex arrived home on the 4th of January and left for Miami on the 10th. It was a blur of admin – his car was sold, flight booked, forex bought, bank account cancelled and laundry done (lots and lots of laundry). We barely had time to relax and enjoy his company before he was off. However we did find time to have a birthday tea with my mum who turned 93. It was bittersweet though because both of them confided in me that they had doubts of ever seeing each other again and that’s tough.
Alex really is a very lucky young man. Kiera’s in-laws, Jim and Jody, live in Miami and very kindly met him at the airport and put him up for his first night. The next day Jody sorted a phone out for him and took him to the apartment that his company has provided for the first month. That evening Kiera flew down to spend a few days with him before he started work on the 16th. She helped him get a social security number and open a bank account. Before Kiera arrived, Alex went to buy some groceries at a nearby supermarket. He managed to get a few odds and ends but gave up when he reached the salt and pepper – the choice was just too overwhelming. If he was bewildered by the array of condiments, I dread to think how he’s going cope when he gets to choosing actual food.
I didn’t really have much time to mope after Alex left as thankfully my social diary was, for once, quite full and visits from friends kept me from brooding. Kiera’s friend, Louise, her mum, Jane, and baby Emily came for lunch and later in the day, Louise phoned Kiera (using whatsapp). It was quite a surreal experience – Louise (who lives in Toronto but was visiting her parents in Durban) at the farm with us talking to Kiera and Alex, who were together in Miami. As you said Louise “The world is small but still too big.”
The next day my friend Ashley, a keen photographer, came for tea with her daughter who enjoys swimming in our little pool, despite the rather chilly water. Layla, our labbie, gets highly excited when anyone gets in the pool – she jumps in and tries to rescue them. However Samantha was unfazed and Layla had the time of her life playing in the water with her. Ashley took this magical photo of the two of them.
15 years ago I bought a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. As she writes in the Foreword, “This book is organised as a walk through the year, beginning on New Years Day.” Recently I’ve started rereading it, one day at a time, for inspiration. This morning, January 20th, she quotes Russell H Conwell:
Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.
When I read that I thought of Ashley’s picture, and it struck me that I really do have diamonds in my backyard.