For those of you who know some of my history, you will know I grew up for part of my childhood on a farm.
Seasons change; seeds become seedlings, seedlings grow and bear fruit, fruit is picked leaving the mother plant to die, the plant is ploughed into the earth to nurture new seeds and seedlings, transformation takes place. Everyday.
I went from loving the farm life in primary school, to hating the farm life when I was in my teens. I am an adult now and I can honestly tell you that everyday has grown my appreciation for my beginnings and my inheritance. As I grew out of my teenage years, my seeking years and became a mature plant, I began to embrace my farm life, enjoy it, and figure out what it really meant. My biggest plan right now is how to get back to that farm life from where I am- how to have the best of both worlds. To have my proverbial cake, and eat it.
We went to Zimbabwe on the 14th of December 2018 with one sole purpose, to spend time with Mumus! That we did, and to do that, we spent a week on the family farm where Uncle Kudzi has now moved permanently, and lives with aunty Daisy and Mumu. I will write about time with Muvaki in another post, today is about the farm life.
We arrived after midnight, tired and ready for bed. I had been at work all day chasing deadlines and anxious to get to Zimbabwe, so to finally be at the farm was a dream. You will know now that this is where we buried your grandad, my dad. Another reason I was anxious to make my way home. One parent plant is now in the ground, nurturing from spiritual realms. Watching. Having put in place measures to take care of us, the fruit.
The first night is always a disaster for me. Every thud wakes me up, ever bug is annoying, every sound could be a snake or a rat- which will lead to a snake! And now with the added pressure of being a mom with a protective instinct, this first night was a write- off for me! I have always been this way on the first night, I see it as my adjustment from the city to the farm, from being restless into trying to find a piece of peace in this crazy world, my reminder that calm exists and it is I who needs to readjust my thoughts and slow down.
Saturday morning could not arrive fast enough for me, because even though I was tired from a really long work and new- mom year, I was anxious to be home, and be present. I was anxious to slow down. Weird huh? We had a quick breakfast and then it was off to Norton sales for us. Your aunt Daisy handles the day- to- day sales now and though I was against this initially, because of Muvaki, I realized that it is, in fact a way that both mother and child can get out of the house for a while. I was reminded of when I was still on maternity leave and trying to figure life out with an infant. I find myself quite envious of the fact that aunty D gets to take her baby to work with her. Something I really wished I could have done with you. She is living the business unusual life, and I am envious. I am reminded of how simple life can really be. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a lot at the farm, but life is lived through a series of simple decisions everyday. Unlike life in Johannesburg. The little seedling is growing and learning through doing and being. Simple. No paid experiences, just real life.
You and Muvaki handled our trips to the Norton sales like little pro’s. I get very annoyed with the haggling and the way that everyone in Norton wants prices to be lowered, but it was good to get back to the farm and be home at the end of a sales day. It was also good to see how familiar it all is, even with the hagglers and hustlers. To reset. To reboot. To see a different perspective.
To watch your uncle navigate this crazy world of the farm has been interesting, he is also a transformed plant, my little brother was very different from this new guy. The seedling morphed into what is now a plant, bearing fruit. Like me. The farm has been a place of transformation for our whole family, I would like to see what your own transformation will look like in your time.
The farm is a mixture of feelings for me Mambo. I love the air out there but I cannot stand the dust and bugs everywhere! I think this may be the same for you. It took you the whole week to be able to walk on the sand. You decided that the sand was ‘dirty’, but you really enjoyed walking in the grass and grabbing at random blades. The sight of it warms my heart with many giggles. That ground is a mixture of emotions for me. My dad lies there, my parents have poured every cent they had into it, my brother and I became adults there and now our children can run on that soil (when they overcome their fear of ‘dirty’).
We took a walk to see grandpa everyday, and I am so happy because you got into the habit of saying ‘Hi daddy’ and ‘Bye daddy’ when we got there and when we left. I know this guy is in awe of you, watching you from his perch in the sky.
You have not yet walked the full distance from the farm house to the garden, I am hopeful you will one day though. I remember walking up and down to the garden since I was about 6. The beauty of the countryside is that little changes. This season your uncle had tomatoes, carrots, butternut and covo. What a pleasant sight!! You got to eat everything which had my heart joyous from celebration! The beauty of the road to the garden from the house is silence. We had many conversations, you on my back. I guess this is the season that I start talking like a mother, different from the seasons I have spent there, a child, an adolescent, a young adult, an adult. A daughter, a sister, a girlfriend. Now a mother and partner. Each seasonal conversation has differed, my dreams have changed. What I wanted when I was a 6 year old seeding has evolved and taken different meanings now as I become a parent plant.
Being at the farm gives me a level of peace. Something I barely get when we are in the big city. Sure, there is a perpetual fear of snakes (this time there is apparently a cobra that’s making our home its own), but there is so much fresh air. There is so much room to breathe. There is so much room to cry when you want to. There is so much room to decide what your next moves will be and what is wrong and right with the world. There is room to laugh until your ribs hurt. There is room. There is air.
Despite there being sales trips and having to wake up early in the morning to get to work, the farm means great sunsets and returning to a place where simplicity is key. I hope you learn how important this is in life. I grew up being teased about my farm beginnings Mambo, most of it I do not remember, because I don’t care to, but also because I embraced that simplicity, and because really, not many people get to live that life. It is part of who I am, and I am me.
Every evening when I saw the night sky completely full of stars and heard nothing but the sounds of nature, it reminded me of the life I really want to live, no one needs more than that to end the year. I am inspired all over again, and I am happy you were with me for it.
This was the perfect start to our vacation, a perfect end to our year, a time to reflect, our time to bond and reboot.
I promise you, there will be more.