Last week I started work at Ikaya Primary School in Kayamandi working with sixth and seventh graders in the afterschool program. They should have warned us. At the least they could have prepared us. And I’m sure all the parents reading this have chosen this moment to raise their arms in triumph at this ‘interesting’ little situation I seem to have gotten myself into. Nonetheless, I am in love with my group of twenty or so fire-breathing minions. I love these kids. I love them with a painful, crushing love that grows even deeper as one carefully calculates the exact angle to jump and hang from my neck without crushing my windpipe. I love the overconfidence and the selective hearing sprinkled with a generous dose of mayhem. I love this because there is no room left for me to think of how I should act or what I should say there is only action. There is teamwork in the note making a seemingly unseen path behind my back and into the hands of a giggling group of girls across the room. There is the pure and raw passion that is thirteen-year-old Zine, self-appointed leader of the class, bursting spontaneously into a song that my ears can’t possibly understand but somehow the rebellious, determined child in me does. There is the love, because these kids unconsciously answer questions I do not realize I am asking. And there is love because that is all there is room for.
The weekend found me cramped in the back seat of a 1976 electric blue ford Cortina with a couple surfboards a couple beach bums and a whole day ahead of us. To my left and right lie miles and miles of vineyards with vines that have lifetimes ahead of them. The air spills into the car from every window caressing, uncovering and leaving as quietly as it comes. Nico is blasting something from the radio, it might be German but it sounds like journey, I turn my head to see him humming along as he shifts gears. I roll down the window some more as the smell of the ocean encloses me and I have to stick my hand out letting the smell and wind waft through my outstretched fingers. We close in on an empty spot, finally there it is. I am inexplicably happy at the familiarity it brings and I think of friends and family and peace and God and home, all of my homes, and I think of joy. Of joy. And as we all get out to look at the horizon before us we become in that moment infinite....
Peace. Love, Grace