The Power of Love

Love has been on my mind lately.

There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, my Godson Patrick and his lovely fiancee, Lara, are soon to be married, in Bartolomeo which is very near Verona.  Romeo and Juliet spring to mind immediately and a visit to Juliet’s balcony will definitely be on the cards. Appropriately, the wedding theme is Love. And I have no doubt that the happy couple will be surrounded by plenty of it. There is no better way to start their journey together.

The second reason Love is on my mind, is that the two rescue pets living in our home have come to love each other deeply. It was completely unexpected and an absolute delight to share. This love is growing, despite the fact that Archie is an almost feral cat and a formidable hunter. Xena is a three legged Africanus-cross and despite looking like a fierce Alsation, she is the gentlest creature alive. The two have taken to hunting together and it’s been fun to watch them chase after butterflies, crickets and moths. But when Archie hunted a field mouse, the rules of the game became much clearer to our gentle dog. While Archie flicked it into the air and caught it in his claws once more, Xena tried to nudge it back to life with her nose.  She hadn’t realised that the game would end in the litte creature’s death. When the humans intervened and removed the mouse, Archie gave Xena a good few smacks, before strutting off in a huff. But the pair have survived their first tiff and both have come away with a new understanding of how the other ticks. Love has truimphed!

The third reason for love being on my mind, is that I have just finished reading The Fifth Mrs Brink. I was really keen to explore it, as I “knew” Andre Brink when I was a first year student at Rhodes. I knew him as the iconic Afrikaans 1 lecturer, who everyone was in awe of, if not a little in love with. He knew me as one of those really annoying first years, who pitched up late for his dawn patrol lectures and asked for assignment extensions. In fact, he took to locking the door on the latecomers, exactly two minutes after his lecture had started. No amount of staring through the window, would make him open it either! Despite my naughtiness at the time, I did read many of his books and loved them. But I digress.

When I began Karina’s memoir, I had no idea that I would be blown away by the love she and Andre shared. It was beautiful beyond words and of course heart- breaking in the end. I have found snippets of the story creeping into my thoughts at random moments during my day. Love like that does not come often and when it does, it is something to hold onto and treasure forever. It deserves to live on in a sacred bubble, in the deepest recesses of one’s heart.

So my message to you is…embrace love, wherever you find it. No amount of money, fame or success can replace it. We fool ourselves when we believe otherwise. If you haven’t done so already, make enough space in your life for love to enter, in abundance. Oh and when it does, open your eyes and recognise it!

Gail Gilbride

Under The African Sun 




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