Tuesday, April 2, 2019

City shoes

 Unpacking boxes. After the initial necessities made life functional, it didn’t much continue until we started looking for specifics. Things that we needed and we knew we had somewhere. Out comes the numbered box list, contents abbreviated in my great handwriting, accurate up to a point because we didn’t pack all the boxes ourselves, we also had helping hands. Thank goodness we had help to pack all of our stuff, stuff we have been cavorting, keeping safe, storing, hedging, hording in a sort of a way. We were hanging on to our good, valuable, practical, irreplaceable, good, and ordentelike inheritance plus our own accumulated stuff for as long as we can remember. Why, because one day we were going to need it on the farm, and here we are, one day has arrived.

It actually arrived in a myriad of days, one hectic day blending into an unbelievable reality conundrum. In the meantime the boxes were moved as the furniture got unwrapped and space became more functional. Finally all the unopened boxed were re-moved to one spot and became a wall of beige on the left as you walk through our front door. Simply put there were nowhere to put the stuff once a box was opened, it wasn’t like we were building off-spec or had the time to renovate a precious pondokie into a bespoke home. But the boxes had to be unsealed, re-folded, contents moved around to adapt to the new priorities here, and so the stuff started to move from box to box which didn’t help when I was relying on my 3rd G&T recollecting of where I last had it in hand.  A couple of hunting episodes later and square becomes organic and the wall became a shanty town, and still nowhere to put the stuff once it was out of its controlled parameter.  It seems that average previously disadvantaged farm houses were not fitted with built-in kitchen or bedroom cupboards, linen cupboards or storage solutions for all of life’s wonderful man-made stuff. 

Eventually I parked it - the old farm people simply didn’t have as much stuff here in the kloof, besides it being so flippen far from good shops, they had no time to do what we learned to do so well:
(read this very fast or skip it altogether)
work very hard so we could carefully choose, craft, control, functionally select to satisfyingly accumulate precious, decorative, matching memorabilia, gifts, refined and pleasing objects, abundantly available in an insane amount of mesmerizing shops and spaces over filled with multiple bling-ching, delicious, must-have, bright lights in all colors, sizes and amounts, whatever pleases and suits and fits that very specific thing we want right now. And do it all over again next week.

In one of the last boxes I found my city shoes and wow was that a surprise, I had totally forgotten they existed! Mostly pretty sandals with different heels depending on the city venue and activity. So my city shoes got unpacked next to my real shoes, and they are still there. In hind sight I am so incredibly glad at the time I was packing them that I had no idea my lovelies would become dust collectors. In fact, I had no inkling that my farm shoes would help me make the very, very hard and unbelievable difficult exchange from our previous life in the upper world, as oom Boetie calls every town past Colesberg, to the realities of the farm. Mark and I did not have the foggiest blimmin notion what was to come and what we had to face to get through it all. Dainty sexy sandals are not quite what prepared me that day when I needed to fetch the sheep, driven higher and higher on the mountain slope by our lovely untrained border collie. I try to get above and ahead by striding up over loose rocks, grabbing on grasses and boulders, getting branch wipped, calling to Nina and High Heavens and anybody else that can deliver me from this unpredictable and uncontrollable madness. Ag within 5 meters you lose your halo and your shit. That’s when you need reality shoes, to save you from breaking your whatever on your way down of course, cause by now the flock is running down and in the wrong direction, splintering off and dividing the chase, the madness extending, helplessness burning in my lungs and legs and feet and cuts. Then utter relief when the madness evens out, our sheepies find direction and everything calms down with the dust settling on me and my farm shoes. At the end of the day I finally undo the knotted laces and shake the gravel out of my socks, washing the dirt off my feet and sokkie tan, an everyday thing now.

Mark's sketchers

My city shoes became my symbol for the unknown exchanges we were not able to calculate, or were prepared for, or ever comprehended we were making once we decided to believe God and follow Him to the kloof. Honestly, Mark and I would have never ever willingly submit ourselves to the extremities this faith step would maneuver us in, if we knew what we were in for ….. but God.

Sunday was one of the bestest of days we have had since our arrival 2 years ago. We have never seen the farm so beautiful, carefree enjoying the quiet peace, the soft skies, our happy dogs, offering a most thankful prayer to our steady Cornerstone on the Crocodile’s second tail. The farm is my new-reality and my farm shoes enable me to be prepared for whatever is going to happen today. Not many non-eventful days I must say, in fact we are starting to enjoy the challenges, and the unthinkable things are somehow overcomeable as God makes a stand for us. For what can a man give as an exchange (a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [in the eternal kingdom of God]? Mark 8:37