Being in lockdown for two and half years, and away from my husband, was quite a challenge. Many memories have been created over those years in South Africa and will remain cherished memories over time.

Late November 2021, my husband flew back to South Africa. We took a trip into the midlands of KwaZulu Natal, to spend quality time with family. Wake each morning to misty rain, the smell of damp earth, and a ginger cat. He was skittish and rather wary of humans. Only when it suited him did he cuddle up to me.

I would call the ginger cat and he would give a quiet meow for a tomcat, then rub himself against my legs. He slept on our bed a couple of times, then took to sleeping on a chair inside. During the day he would sleep on the garden steps and sometimes in the garden amongst the flowers, watching me from a distance. Being partly feral partly domesticated, I wondered whether he would find himself a master, or would he revert to being feral once again?

Another pandemic variant, another lockdown, as we entered the New Year of 2022. Flights were delayed as we watched the lockdowns take place around the world. Panic set in, wondering how and when my husband would be able to return to Indonesia.

By January 10th my husband was able to fly out of South Africa, in a roundabout way via a couple of countries before ending back in Indonesia. Who thought it would take a month to get back to Indonesia!

Now March 2022, floods, and total devastation in KwaZulu Natal. Houses, roads, and bridges were destroyed; families and animals were lost in raging waters and mudslides. What more can we endure! How many more bridges do we have to cross to get to the other side, and once again, start to live a normal life as best we can!

During these past couple of years in South Africa, I have spent precious time with family and learned about the true priorities of life. To cherish our loved ones, as we never know what tomorrow will bring. Now finally 2022 is the year I will leave South Africa, and continue my journey back in Indonesia.

This quote from “Lessons taught by Life”, really spoke to me.

You can smile because they lived,

or cry because they’re gone.

Close your eyes and pray they will

come back, or you can open your eyes and

see all that they left for you. Your heart can

be sad because you can’t see them, or

full of the love you shared.

You can forget about tomorrow and

live for yesterday, or you can be happy for

tomorrow because of yesterday. You can

cherish their memory,

or remember only that they have gone.

You can cry and not accept,

or you can do what they

would want. Open your heart and smile,

love…and go on.

What is important to me, is living a life of purpose and meaning. Living my life in a way I want to be remembered, and looking back at the end of my life having no regrets.

Diane Ackerman once quoted, “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find I have lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the breadth of it as well.”

No matter how many bridges I still must cross in my life, the past two and a half years was only a moment in time.

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