The tenth month

October. The month of a tragic accident that changed the trajectory of my life, the month I resigned from a job I loved dearly and the month that my beloved mother died 21 years ago.

It is also the month that truly marks the beginning of summer here and the time that the whales come to give birth in Walker Bay. Every year since as long as I can remember, I’ve driven through to Hermanus in October. This is the first time I don’t have to. I live here now. If you had predicted that a year ago, I would have asked what you were smoking!

We are catapulting towards the end of 2021 now. Notwithstanding masks and sanitisers, I am keeping an eye on country markets, for Christmas stocking fillers. Usually I rack my brain for gift ideas. But this year is a little different. I have fallen hopelessly in love with painting. Three guesses on what will be in those parcels…

Gardens are blooming and for the first time in my life I am truly proud of my own one. I still need to learn the names of all the plants that are popping up. I didn’t do all the planting, so its really exciting to see green shoots full of secret promises.

At this time of the year, I begin to reflect on things that might have been. So many ifs and buts. Flighty choices haunt me still. Failures of my own making pop up in my complicated dreams. (And no I am not still taking CBD oil.) Yes, there are many if only moments…

… but then I would be in a different life. Shaky failures have been balanced by unexpected successes. Lack of acknowledgement in expected areas have been trumped by surprise accolades which have brought on bucket loads of happy tears. For every opportunity I’ve missed, there has been another just around the corner. And I’ve always been the second time around kind of girl.

Going with the flow was always my motto but it has taken on an urgency that I cannot ignore.

There are regrets, yes. But there are also a trillion things to be grateful for. And I am. Whenever I begin to take my life for granted, I pause to remember being dangled upside down over a cliff edge, not so long ago.

Did I want to live? You bet your sweet ass I did!

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