The House is a mess.
Boxes filled with spent appliances & flowerpots & little trinkets filling the floor.
Dusty squares in empty corners a reminder of cupboards which filled the house to be filled with stuff.
Colonial Antiques came to fetch most of it.
What was of some value.
What’s left will be fetched as well.
The Landy left on Saturday.
The list, lying carelessly next to a nail, a pen & a few scraps of empty paper, still long with things to do before we depart.
The house is varnished.
The decking still politely asking for a second coat.
There is lights to replace.
Ceilings to be painted.
Granny said she doesn’t want to look after the kid’s Schnauzers.
We don’t know what we’ll do about that.
They got them when they were small.
Not even three.
Theunsie has had Lassie for almost a decade.
Sophia’s Misty her first pet who lived beyond a year.
She’s learned about loss.
It did not suffocate her optimism.
They aren’t just dogs.
They’re life shared.
And yet, in order for us to embark on this adventure, they need someone to love them, while we are away.
Maybe we need someone to love us.
By loving them.
We’re grateful to Nicky & her family who’ve embraced Katinka, our over-sized baby St Bernard who isn’t a baby anymore, despite her belief that she can be invisible, sneaking into the kitchen to lie in the corner, while Zuko prepares pasta or bread or beans on rice.
She isn’t our Katinka anymore.
It is no small thing to pack up your house, to find homes for animals, to sell your Landy & cupboards & beds & chairs, to pack your bag & travel 13721 kilometres to the Far East, leaving summer behind to face Siberian temperatures.
It is no small thing to live.
To stumblingly find your way.
From yesterday into tomorrow.
And so we are giving away & selling & packing away the remnants of our life in Nelson Mandela Bay.
In between, saying goodbye to friends & colleagues.
Sometimes surprised by kindness.
Aware that we are mostly left to the grace of our own ingenuity.
That there are some who want to say goodbye.
And some who want to come alongside.
And we realize, in these few days which become less with every moon, that some things cannot be accomplished on your own.
And time does not heal all wounds.
Even a decade not able to bring intimacy in relationships we’d hoped would be deep & tender.
And all we have is this day.
A life unmeasured until the last breath escapes.
It is good to be grateful.
It is helpful to be resilient.
It is beneficial to be a bit blind.
To the harshness.
Our souls remaining hopeful.
That somewhere, in the busyness of what we do, meaning will find us.
And life will be true.