A few years ago, I bought a piece of land on the West Coast of South Africa. I did it on a whim. Actually, I had a really frightening experience flying over the Pyrenees (our plane hit clear air turbulence and dropped 300 ft in 3 seconds). I wasn’t ready to die with a bunch of strangers, and somehow, having a stake in African soil seemed like the right thing to do in case it ever happened again.
The West Coast has been described as a high-speed connection to your soul. If you know it as I have come to, this is absolutely true. I’m not the first person to fall madly and truly for the light that brings clarity of thought and peace to a restless spirit. Endless white beaches where you can walk for miles without seeing another person. The Benguela current that runs deep and icy along the shoreline, giving winter fog and cerulean sea (sea that is still cold enough to take your breath in summer). Semi-desert scrubland that reveals little of the Khoikhoi and San who were the first people to live here, but that nevertheless explodes into bloom when the spring rains kiss the earth in September. It’s a wild and stunningly beautiful place.
And when – as now – the choices I’ve made begin to get to me (living in a cold country amongst strangers), my thoughts draw me back there. Little and often. Constant. Constant. They say that once this part of the world has crept into your heart, it will never leave you…
I’ll be returning there this year.