Today I signed a lease for a year on a beautiful little jewel of a cottage in St James. The windows on the east side look out over the sea, the western windows gaze at the mountain, the northern windows have the sun coming in and the southern windows have the perfect light for painting. I feel so grateful for my good fortune that I barely know what to do with myself.
For several weeks now, sleep has been a problem; first of all wondering if I’d ever find the right place… then finding it and not knowing whether I’d be the Chosen One.
Yesterday morning my insomnia drove me to my computer at Two a.m. to at least put the wasted time to good use – and there was the email confirming the cottage was mine if I wanted it. A thought I recognised appeared once more in my head. The last time it was there was when I bought my stunning little cottage in Kalk Bay in 2004: ‘I will never envy anyone their home, no matter where they live, while I live in this space.’ And that’s indeed how it was for me in Kalk Bay until I decided to sell.
I look forward to the same joy and contentment while I am contained in this place, which is like a bigger brother to my Kalk Bay cottage. It is also tiny, the way I like it, but there are three stories, so I have all the space I want and need, but not more than that.
Now the insomnia is due to sheer excitement. I feel like it’s one long ‘night before Christmas’. So – have bought melatonin which is excellent for this problem.
This little place was designed for me. I am very grateful to my ancestors, my guides, and the Beings unknown to me as yet, who made this possible. (Yes, there was much drumming up of support from the hidden realms (The Land of Woo to my atheistic friends), and of course also subsequently to express my thanks… my drum is in good voice. But equal to that gratitude is the gratitude towards my friends and family who have held and supported me through this recession until my financial recovery was complete. You know who you are…I remember each and every gesture, loan, gift, favour – the list goes on and it’s a long one. Few people have family and friends like mine and I wish such heart connections to everyone.
I look forward to attending the Blue Bird Garage Market every Friday evening in Muizenberg, the little art film circle evenings in Kalk Bay, walking from St James to Kalk Bay to have coffee on the harbour wall; bumbling through the antique shops, bookshops, coffeeshops, eating at the Blue Brinjal, dancing at Polana, seeing all the members of the Kalk Bay Posse, buying chips at Kalky’s, sitting in front of one of my (TWO! TWO!) fireplaces, going to yoga on a Saturday morning, and Tai Chi in Fish Hoek on a Thursday… the list of delights is seemingly endless. The only limit is the time available away from my computer which I think must overlook the sea, so I am encouraged to look away from the screen often, to rest my eyes, preferably on passing whales and dolphins.
It will be exactly a year since the burglary that chased me out of my solitude last year, when I move to my new home. I’ve learned a lot in the ditch (no not the gutter, the ditch. Where the roses grow that one must gather before coming out again) and I can’t wait to put these lessons to practical use. This is a house that will hold, cherish and feed my creativity. It offers everything I need for my comfort and my work, on a soul, heart, mind and physical level.
On leaving the cottage today after signing the lease, I looked at the pot in front of the house. There was a msobo plant starting up there. Little berries were already formed. Msobo berries are quite rare, and the jam made from them is rather expensive. I like the jam but the berries themselves have a wonderful taste which always brings my childhood in the Drakensberg rushing back. It grows wild, and it’s the local variant of the Deadly Nightshade that grows in England. Fortunately the local variety is not poisonous and is merely called the Nightshade. So there was this little plant – about eight cm high, waiting to welcome me to my new home. I had found a similar plant here at the home of my friends in Wynberg when we moved in but when I looked again all trace of the little bushes was gone. They do look rather untidy and resemble weeds, so I guess they were somewhat unsightly. The thought had occurred to me to look around to see whether any little volunteers had sprung up since the death of the parent, and then to take one of those to the new place.
But – it is no longer necessary… I am expected.