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Archive for October, 2013

 

The express envelope is tightly sealed. The 3 passports and the awful photographs have been slipped in along with all the relevant documentation. More and more documents……. Will this ever end? It’s amazing how the lack of a smile just gives one the appearance of having the world on your shoulders! But apparently a smile is not what officialdom needs in cases like this! So the somber Morkel clan is all duly represented. Our serious faces are soon to appear on our ‘ticket to freedom,’ the Canadian permanent residence card. We are told by all the fellow permanent residence seekers that this is the final stage. Yippee! It has been 2 years and 6 months since we sent in our first application……note that one counts the months when something is this important. 

 

I have to add that it is not that I am hell bent on leaving my African roots behind me. Oh no, that could never be the case. It is more about having a sense of belonging and stability here in Canada. The African spirit still runs through our veins and we have strong ties with family and friends. Although I still allow myself to miss South Africa even though Canada in now my new home. However, doubt set in the other day when I read an article in our local paper. I quote…..

“Essential Canadianness is dependent on the slice of time that is spent here.”

I read this headline and am forced to ponder the inevitable. Does my 3 years here in Canada count? Has all the trying to do and experience all things that are Canadian not matter? I bare the scars……. a broken wrist whilst skiing. My inquisitive nature drives me to explore further.

 “It is not just the number of years spent in Canada that serves to imprint this country on one’s soul, but also the question of which years. A person’s character typically is formed in his or her youth. By the time middle age comes around, it’s usually too late.”

Oh well, that rules me out then! Or does it? I cannot imagine that it is the same for everyone. I think it depends on just how receptive you are to change. My metal has been tested continuously over the last while. Just when I think that I am getting this whole Canadian living waxed, something happens and I realize that I am definitely still quite ‘fresh off the boat.’ Like the time I found myself careering along on the wrong side of the road! But in true African spirit I will not let this deter me from my goal and certain familiar words ring in my ears….’aanhouer wen’ and ‘agteros kom ook in die kraal.’

We live and learn......

We live and learn……

 

* The article I refer to was written by Jonathan Kay in the National Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feel the rain on your skin……..

The rain falls softly on the carpet of leaves in my back garden. The drops glisten on the reds and yellows. Nature’s blanket is a burnished patchwork quilt lovingly stitched together. These little food factories have done their job well! They have sustained the giant maple and elm trees in our backyard. It is time to return their nourishment back to the soil. Fall has begun. The leaves give us one final display with their deep maroon and orange before they drop to the soft earth.

 

The splendour of Fall....

The splendour of Fall….

Reaching for something in the distance, so close you can almost touch it….

Last night I stood on my friend’s terrace in the city. They are leaving Canada for a while to follow a job opportunity in Europe. It was time to say ‘au revoir.’ We looked over the bustling streets and enjoyed the warmth of the Indian summer. The sun was setting in the distance and the stately CN Tower presided over all her shorter subjects. It stood silhouetted against the backdrop of the orange sky. It was a panorama to behold! I turned my face to the setting sun and squeezed out the last few rays. It was not to last……the sun slid behind the frames of concrete. It was gone; the orange hue was but a lingering memory. Shelved away safely in my memory bank and to be drawn upon in those long Canadian winters! The interesting conversation and my fine glass of merlot was a comfort.

 

The CN Tower at dusk....

The view……

 Live your life with arms wide open……

It is Thanks Giving weekend and time to give thanks for our bounty. Orange pumpkins and crisp red apples are plenty.  Mothers scurry around and plan the feast for the family. Dusty recipe books are being consulted and larders are bursting with supplies. The poor ‘frozen bird’ hangs on for dear life on the shelf in the fridge! One can get nothing else to fit in there when the ‘resting turkey’ awaits its fate. It too will have its moment of splendour. It is, after all, the honoured guest at our table adorned with its white frilled legs and laced with delicious gravy.

 

" e Fagalo bench'......

” e Fagalo bench’……

No one else can speak the words on your lips……

  One realizes that with all things here in Canada, there is a time for everything. As the leaves drop to the ground, it is now the time to celebrate and rejoice in our family and friends. We have been blessed with kind neighbours and wonderful friends in this our new country. But there will also be a special place set at our table for our family and friends that are far away.

Let the sun illuminate the words that are written…..

 

 

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