We were circling London, waiting in the air traffic que to land. That’s when it settled in me. Before this moment I had felt everything. I had been excited about finally having something genuinely good happen to me, about God showing up in an undeniable way. I was overwhelmed with love, the eruptious celebrations for a communal win and the ensuing veld fire, ablaze with dreams. But Grief, the poet’s servant, was the most prominent. I grieved for everything I was leaving behind, everything I had worked so hard for but couldn’t fit into a plane. I grieved a vacuum of life I would never actualise in South Africa. I grieved every experience capsulated in time that I was going to miss: birthdays, successes, a niece too new to know me, and the possible loss of loved ones in my absence. Leaving was right, in the same way that winter is necessary. The reward of marriage and children is often said to be unequivocal joy and sense of purpose. I have found the same to be true for singlehood, but in the way of self-abandon into freedom’s boundless wingspan, souring.
It’s strange that is was only as we spanned the clear, blue skies of London, that my resolve settled. I hadn’t realised this, but it had waned in the waiting because waiting can draw out joy, stretch your faith so tight that when you finally have the dream, it’s lost its newness. I finally had what I wanted and couldn’t remember why I had wanted it. As the plane waited its turn on the runway, and I looked down at the London Eye and the river Thames, my resolve softly seeped in. The ‘ground’ felt firmer and I knew that no matter what, it would work out. I felt like a sprout, meeting the sun I’d always felt from beneath the ground. I felt the flow of blood into old hustler veins, I felt that maak-‘n-plan spirit awaken, my ‘guluva’ coming alive!!!
This is all to say that I literally had no balls for this until the very last minute and maybe that’s why I only finished packing in the airport, missed my connecting flight in Dubai, started my period on the plane, and trudged all the luggage my mother wouldn’t let me leave behind half-way across a new country. Listen, to each, her own–🤣!!
Nwa’tati sometimes courage meets us on the way and the liver grows as we step up.
Thank you for reading. I’ve made us a messy video of the truth, lol. Ce la vie ❤