By: Angela Kewney
Driving through the winelands may be as therapeutic as being treated in a spa… well almost. I love the grape vines rolling along the hills with beautiful mountains in the background and little wine farms beckoning you to come taste what they have harvested. I absolutely adore wine. It is early though so it’s definitely time for a good coffee. Stellenbosch is a beautiful part of the Cape with flowing hills, grasslands, mountains and hundreds of acres of grape vines with plenty of wine farms to visit. The town is small and humble set amongst large trees and has schools that have shaped some of the country’s best rugby players. The main streets feel very European and have a magical charm that draws you in and welcomes you to the fine scents of the daily offerings. I love the little boutique shops and quaint little book stores. There is just something I love about old books. Knowing they have belonged to someone who most likely treasured the stories within. Reading is like an escape into your own world and the story plays out like a move in your own mind, creating characters you perceive and sometimes get so involved, you just can’t wait till the next day to carry on reading and those books are my best.
As I walk down the pebbled path I can tell that there is a lot of history here, where ox wagons used to drive along sand pathways and some of the historic buildings are still intact. There is the smell I am after, freshly ground coffee beans, cinnamon and freshly baked bread. For such a small town during winter and not being school holidays, the shops are buzzing. Student life here must be such a wonderful experience. I order my cup of coffee and do what I do most, think. Although I miss so many people I wonder if I would be any good at conversing. Maybe the mundane discussion of the past should be put in the past. I wonder if I am not taking it much too hard and then I get angry at myself for being unable to just forget about it. Perhaps if I was not so alone all the time I could forget about it more, but I am always alone. At least I have this time to enjoy my coffee… for now at least.
Now you know how at some point everyone gets to say, “what I have learned”, well, I guess it is time for me to start telling you what I have learned.. – the hard way!.
I have learned that nothing is “carved in stone”, you may believe you have this life that will remain flourishing like a beautiful flower and may go to sleep in winter but will revive again the next spring.. I never thought that my flower would die and I had to remove the dead stem and start fresh again with new soil .. Just remember that things may not remain constant and you don’t always have control. Things change, and your little lego blocks can come tumbling down. But .. you can always rebuild your lego castle, this time round just make sure you have some reinforcements in place.
I have also learned not to take a position for granted. In the business world, there are rules and you have to fully understand those rules. Understand the contracts you sign. Don’t think for one moment when you are married to someone who tells you “everything is OK, there is no issue, I have this under control”. You have to be the one who knows for a fact whether it is OK and you have to be in control. Never sign any agreement without fully understanding it.
Then there is the life that you have where you are so used to living the way you like, you go out all the time, buy expensive clothing, eat out, drive luxurious cars, enjoy Medical Aid, Private Schools, and all the bling that goes with it. Just stop for a moment and remember that one day if this gets taken away from you, there is no more bling lifestyle.
I have learned to take things slow, enjoy what is around me, the scenery, the smells, the joys of being able to walk to wherever I want to go. Coffee, that cup so pretty with fumes wafting through the air, breathing in such fragrant aromas, and being able to pay for it. Especially enjoying moments shared with your best friend, Mom or whoever it is enjoying those moments together, because there may be a time when they are gone.. forever.
Life is unpredictable, just take one step at a time, and always think things through. You never know when things will change.
There is so much still to come.. and to share. Where to next from here?