I have long been fascinated and thoroughly enjoyed windy days, it represents freedom. I mean it goes where it wants to with no one to tell it NO! Freedom to go everywhere and that is all I have ever wanted to do. I have wanted the freedom to roam, to explore, to adventure and to learn what lies beyond the boundaries that I believed so constrained me.
As a child those boundaries were obvious. My parents who set the rules and then of course the fact that I was not able to earn my own money and perhaps the less obvious one to me at the time: I could not travel as a child without my parents, I was not yet world wise. So, I travelled in the only way available to me at the time - through books. I could immerse myself in a book for hours on end, in fact if it were truly captivating, I would stay awake reading until the book was done. In this way I walked the city streets of the world, absorbing the aromas of the French café’s, the stench of sweat on the streets of Pamplona after the bulls had run. I heard call to prayers in Istanbul Turkey as if they were my 5am personal wakeup call and of course when I was old enough, I hopped on that plane and lived my life like there was no tomorrow.
I immersed myself in the funeral of Princess Diana and embraced what felt like to me first hand, the pain of her boys as they walked in front of her coffin, I savoured the home cooked meal of a mom and pop in Prague. Got drunk on German beer and the headiness of the Beer Fest in Munich, all the while never quite filling the hole that continued to nudge for attention. I wasn’t running away - I was living my life.
I roamed, not only the world, but myself never standing still long enough to take a good look. My arrogance and anger serving me well until my first midlife existential crisis at 35. Wasn’t Jesus about that old when he arrived throwing the thieves out of his father’s house? I couldn’t even hold a relationship together for long enough, my moods and tantrums guiding the choices I made. All until my friend Charl committed suicide. Everything went really quiet after that as I began to search for meaning and purpose in my life, plummeting into the dark night of my soul.
Years went by as I questioned, evaluated, and made significant changes; looking back and often pondering how I had made it this far alive when quite by coincidence or perhaps providence I encounter Dallas at Mpame. In this place where my father was washed off the rocks, the week of the anniversary of his death and Dallas being the only son of the man who tried to fish my father out the water as he tried to swim back in. We have known each other our entire lives, not really knowing who we are as individuals anymore, but we have shared several spaces and time throughout our existence. In fact, we were born in the same hospital exactly two weeks apart, I’m the older wiser one, in case you were wondering 😊.
Encountering this man, who is now a father himself, after so much time was heart-warming and a wonderful reminder that even though I have searched for a very long time to better understand my grief, my anger, my confusion or even my doubt in my own self-worth we did have a pretty remarkable childhood! We grew up carefree, adventurous, and explored the bounds of what it is to be a child where everything is viewed as brand new and awfully exciting despite the hidings, the cuts and scrapes and of course being yelled at. He has reminded me of this and I am again encouraged to view life as carefree, adventurous, meant to be explored and experienced.
I remember asking my dad what he would like for Father’s Day, speaking to the sky not really expecting an answer when I heard a soft voice whisper: Find the beauty in it all, the negative and the positive experiences. Perhaps this is my purpose, to have lived this life of confusion and anger; adventure and experience culminating in what I do now; guiding others to live their best life. I have after all had forty nine years’ experience shaping this particular piece of art.