This girl from the 'Merica interior has never surfed...and if my skiing skills are any indication, I should probably never try...BUT I'm doing my best to glean wisdom from wherever I can in this mess of a season called grief. Grief is the name of my wave. No board or "totally rad" lingo involved. just tears. Today's swell wasn't a quick slap in the face but rather a slow repetitive build in size and intensity.
The curvatures of the above "panoramic" photo are slightly misleading. The place where I was standing was the southwestern most point of Africa...the point at which when sailing, you start going more east than south as you come around from the Indian to the Atlantic ocean.
Hope, is my word of the year. If you think words of the year are corny or confining, tough tootsies - just roll with me, okay? So, all day I've wondered what the origin of the name of this wildly fantastic place is. The water is tumultuous, the rocks are impressive, the clouds are fast, the scene is incredible.
Evidently a Portuguese chap by the name of Bartholomew Dias named the place "Cape of Storms" due to his crew/vessel's perilous experiences on the rough and rugged seas around the southernmost tip of Africa. Later, Portuguese royalty from the comfort of their own thrones, decided that the name "Cape of Good Hope" was more apt due to the benefits of trade routes Dias' discovery opened up for their economies. It's all about perspective, isn't it!
The weather moves through there like a manic experience...seeming to change every 5 minutes from sunny and clear to stormy with rain (you can see a bit of that in the photo). Cape of Storms seems more practically realistic to me for that reason. But even places of storms can be places of hope, huh? It's a good word lesson for me.
Camille, Lesley's sister died the same day that my mom died. Lesley and her family are the reason Bethany and I picked up and decided to come to South Africa this week. To share your days with someone you know is building cairns with rocks and in their heart everyday too, if even for a short while, is a gift. If you know Lesley, you won't be surprised to know that her cairn for Camille was much prettier than mine...the rocks smoother and flatter...a little flourish of greenery on top...no water droplets on the lens for her photos ;) Yet another lesson...you can't compare your grief to anyone else's...we all do it, and it's always useless and counterproductive, it feels like.
This is just the "tip of the iceberg" as they say...or "just the cape point of Africa", as it might be in this case...there is so much more to think about and process...me staying home from dinner tonight to write this, is my effort to ride the wave...trying not to fight it but ride it. It's harder this way, it's more inconvenient for everyone, but it feels honoring of the woman my mom was and the gift of relationship God gave us. To you! mama. And to God! for giving you to me...or me to you...or both.