A Speech, by the South African Sky

I entice you to move through mist,

And tiptoe among the veldt.

Come behold what you can see

Only on a day’s journey.

 

You squat low to spy bush art,

And wonder how my light

Struck rock and

Caused color to crumble.

 

You chase me running barefoot

To catch my shadow

As I dive with pinks and grays

Into the sinking sea.

 

You follow me into the water,

Mourning my death, flailing in my tears.

And then you surrender. Flat on your back,

Arms spread wide, finally at rest.

 

You find my love letter written

With stars.

Don’t rush your read.

Beloved. Be at rest.

 

Until I startle you like an angel.

Rousing you from your slumber.

Awake! The animals stir,

The birds are falling in love again.

 

As I trekked across the Drakensberg range, swam in the Indian Ocean at Tinly Manor, drove along Chapsman Peak, climbed Table Mountain, surfed Muizenberg and crossed the Nelson Mandela bridge, I fell in love…I fell madly in love with South Africa’s sky. Dramatic. Generous. Tempestuous. Enchanting. Day and night, it has so much to say.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2

 

 

Things I haven’t done…

since arriving in Muizenberg (a little surf colony in Cape Town area) include:

1)   Brush my hair*

2)   Listen to, read about, watch the news

3)   Eat a proper helping of vegetables**

The US could be in free-fall off the fiscal cliff, and I could be running headlong into dreadlocks, but currently there are a couple of things that feel preeminent. For example, right now I must go see penguins. Yes, penguins! At Bolder Beach!

I also must prepare for my surf lesson, and then try, try, try to write.

And…the biggest thing I must do is savor this little fleeting time when staring at the Indian Ocean usurps brushing my hair and being up on world news.

The pounding search for a job and the long-running desire for a family may someday be fulfilled…and then I suspect new things that have felt so essential will be overtaken by others…we’ll see where hair-brushing falls in the list of priorities in the coming days…

Can’t resist the question: What are you giving up right now that in the past seemed so essential?

*I continue to wash my hair, quite often in fact.

**For the record: I love vegetables.

You Never Know What the Day May Bring….Zebras and Medals Included

My friend invited me for a morning swim. I had thrown in my goggles along with my dancing shoes on this 2-month trek, so I was thrilled to justify my bulging suitcase.

In the evening I was invited/informed that I was being registered in an open water swim competition in a couple of days. I’ve never done lake swimming…. nor competed as an adult. But sure.

On Sunday I jumped in a lake with a whole line-up of ladies—all swimming to be seeded for the World’s Largest Open Water Swim Event. Of course.

My friend later confessed that she had to declare me as an “International Athlete” in order for me to participate. But sure.

I was all in…because…it was hosted at the Heia Safari…with zebras looking on! Zebras! I was willing to be the world’s worst “International Athlete” if I got to see zebras!

Let’s just say I didn’t break any records, but had great fun. And zebras did cheer us on—even if there was a bit of flailing on my part. They were gracious and didn’t draw attention to it. And at the end of the day, I had a medal and pictures to prove that life can take the most surprising of twists.

When I think about my foray into swimming teamed with the exotic spectators, I can’t help but be hopeful. There are so any things I am longing for—plot twists I have desired for years…edging on decades.

Swim medals and zebras do emotional judo on my questions: “When will change come? How does hope turn into reality?

It orients me to possibility. It entices me to spy out sacred encounters. It reminds me that you never know what the day may bring.

Can’t resist the question: What surprising twists have you experienced in your story recently?

Cheers to Shark Rejection

I’m attempting to learn how to surf.  With my less-than-evolved motor skills, let’s just say you may not see me on the surf circuit anytime soon. But I am having a blast; those seconds standing up on the board are pure magic!

At the beginning of my surf lesson—before even touching the board—I learned about shark flags. Today the shark flag is black—meaning low visibility, but no sharks spotted. I also learned that I would be surfing in the world’s most densely populated area of great white sharks. (I may not be stellar surfer, but I quickly excelled in memorizing the shark flags.)

However, I also was informed that shark attacks in Muizenberg are extremely rare. Apparently sharks have little interest in us humans. And I have never loved the words more “he’s just that in to you.”

This shark ambivalence has me thinking about other encouraging rejections—whether it’s potentially harmful relationships, scams I’ve been protected from, or jobs that could have sucked the life out of me. I suspect I have swam in the waters with many a proverbial great white shark and not even known it.

But I’m more curious about what I’ll need to reject this year—what must I express ambivalence towards? Currently I’m in the midst of a transition—no job, no permanent address, no idea what’s next.

Perhaps I’ll have to say No to a job with enticing pay and soul-killing work. I will likely have to reject panic, when subversive thoughts try to tell me my identity and worth are linked into my job title (or lack of one).  And I suspect I’m going to have to give despair and distrust of God’s goodness the boot—more than once–in the midst of this transitional time.

However, I believe when we have a keener sense of what to reject we are all the more free to embrace the beautiful and noble surprises that come our way.

Can’t resist the question: What shark-rejections are you grateful for at the moment? What healthy rejections are you anticipating this year?

PS – Surf update: I had such fun learning–slowly, slowly adding a couple of seconds up on the board. As  I left Muizenberg the red shark flag was up. A shark had just been spotted…but he too just wasn’t that into us humans. Can’t wait to try surfing again!

 

 

Page 19 of 21« First...10...1718192021