I leave tomorrow. Indefinite as it may be I can’t really see myself being gone for all that long. And it seems everyone else feels the same. But I still feel strongly that this season is supposed to come to an end, in order to give birth to the next season in its fullest, whatever the next season may be, and where ever it may take place. Even though I’m sad to leave Cape Town I have a real peace about all of this. I don’t know what’s next and I don’t feel pressure to “know” when people ask me.
Packing up ten years worth of life today was sad and crazy and strange and refreshing and dusty and hilarious and, more than anything else, very cleansing. I realized I attach very little sentiments to “stuff”; I have a few items that are sentimental, but for the most part my most sentimental “things” are pictures, little funny gifts the kids have given me over the years, and notebooks I’ve written in.
I came across pictures of myself from the early years in South Africa, when I had long hair, no tattoos, a baby face, no beard, and, as Padraic put it, I looked like a “fine young American”. Now I’ve got a whole lot less hair, more wrinkles, a bit of a belly growing, tons of tattoos, and the ugliest beard in the history of beards. But beyond all of that I’ve realized I have things that can never be taken away from me, and things that could never be bought with money, no matter how much finance one might have.
I have memories and experiences that people read about and see in movies, for real! I went to all the places “they” told me not to. I became family with people that “they” told me I must beware of. I lived. I loved. I fought. I bled, though not all that often. I cried. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed until I cried, until my stomach hurt. I learned to cherish every person, and look for the absolute best qualities that exist within them, attempting to call it out of them on every meeting. I learned the importance of seeing God within one another, and saw the power that humanity holds, whether used for the good or bad. I was embraced by the Mother City and held tightly, even protected, for ten wonderful, memorable, years that could never be traded for anything.
I love Cape Town, and when I say Cape Town I mean all of the people I have grown to love so dearly. And if it is true that “home is where the heart is”, no matter where I live in the world, I will always have a home in Cape Town, and a piece of me will always remain here. So, before I get too emotional and dramatic I just wanted to let you all know, I deeply cherished every moment of this adventure, I love you all more than you could ever know, and I will never, ever, EVER forget you! Thank you!