Tuesday, December 24, 2013

So this is Christmas.....??

I can't remember a time it felt less like Christmas than it does right now.....its 26 degrees with 75% humidity.... sticky hot...we only braved malls for a total of 3 hours and did less shopping then ever (having brought some goodies in my suitcase)....My ever-efficient sister-in-law has organised all the food and except for Allan cooking the stuffing we are officially off the hook for usual Christmas cooking duties.  It feels odd....but I am a happy observer :)

The trip to the mountains was amazing - peaceful and slow and as quiet as travelling with a tribe of 12 can be.  We had a great Zulu cultural experience on the way there - a generous Christmas gift from Allan's parents and Sister and Brother-in-law.  The kids learned and we re-learned so much about the intricacies and traditions in Zulu culture...it was enlightening and authentic and enjoyable.

  We headed up through the Karkloof to the Nelson Mandela Capture sight - the place he was arrested .....an amazing set of steel pillars that form a picture of Madiba as you walk towards it.... it was there that we saw the greatest number of bouquets and tributes to Mandela and it is really in a rural spot....it was moving.

We headed on up to the mountains with a brief stop at the Piggly Wiggly for a needed cold drink and little shopping.

Arriving at Mountain Shadows close to Highmoor in the Kamberg was so lovely - mountain vistas and farm animals and lots of space for cousins to roam about.

It was good to slow down for a bit.  We had a famous SA poetjie for dinner one night and braai'd in a typical berg storm another night.

We did a wonderful hike from Highmoor and saw the whole Drakensberg laid out before us - it was good for my soul.....I wanted to see that sight and it was a glorious day....the sky, the high meadows, the flat mountain tops....the cool rivers and dams...I drank it all in....stored it all up in my heart and mind.

We had two storms - thunder, lightening and hard rain....not my best thing but somehow just perfect to see it build up and move over the mountains and rumble on by dropping the temperature a few degrees....and then a nap while the rain fell gently... the first nap of the holiday and it was good.

A storm rolls in

Cousins sheltering from the storm
We came home early Monday and had a full day of shopping and visiting.  A lovely lunch with 3 of classmates....then a tour of the school including the chapel we were married in and then to family friends for dinner (the flower girls from our wedding who are now married and have their own sweet babies and their parents)..... Today an early Mall dash by Allan and I who had our first moments alone so far and enjoyed a quick breakfast and coffee together and then to visit more family friends over a coffee.

Epworth School Chapel

22 years later

I have walked these halls

I have just finished wrapping gifts and writing cards and the house is quiet at the children are laying about reading Beano annuals....  some things don't change.

We have been so blessed by the generosity of friends and family in giving up time and energy and visiting with us, feeding us, discussing things with us...helping us make sense of what we are seeing and hearing....So blessed by generosity and love.....it is truly overwhelming.

Today I feel overwhelmed by it all.....maybe the tiredness is creeping up on me.....maybe there is more to process than my head or heart can do right now.....It has, at times, felt very surreal....like I am watching a movie of myself....

Its hard to explain...

One of our friends said today it will likely take time and space in the months ahead to really work it all out....I think that is true....the impatient me wants it all cataloged and filed now but I am trying to let myself  just be....to take in the moments.... and be grateful.... and let the figuring out happen later as it will.

The experiences have been superb, the family lovely, the memories plentiful, old and new.......still feeling blessed to be here.

Merry Christmas Friends.

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