A couple of weekends ago Rory and I decided to head out of town. It was a bit last minute. We needed somewhere close enough to be able to depart after work, but far enough so it felt like a holiday, not a day trip. We needed affordable, but not cheap Mr Price-circa-2008-Africa themed. Oh, and preferably some part of the country we haven't been. Everything matching that description seemed to be fully booked, no surprise.
So I Facebook googled. What better way to find a place than through your peers. And it was a very successful Facebook google. Is that even a term?
We found a few lovely places, some unfortunately fully booked, but in the end we booked at a brand new place in Groot Marico called The Hanging Garden Bushveld Eco-Retreat. What a gem! About 10km after the Swartruggens toll gate you turn onto a gravel road and meander passed bushveld farms and over the Groot Marico river. You finally reach a farm with a newly built solar and gas power cottage. Off the grid. No one to be seen for miles. Not the main house, not other people, not gates or roads or other farms. Just aloes.
I can't wait to go back here in the summer. The cottage sleeps four and has a small pool, perfect for sitting in on a hot day with a G&T in hand. Bliss. Our hosts were fantastic and very welcoming. They even left us a bowl of freshly picked lemons, and stacked the wood in the braai so we could just light and 'laat waai'!
There was another reason for our Groot Marico escape. A year ago we did what modern couples apparently do these days to signify commitment: we deleted our Tinder profiles and apps. That was a whole year ago already. It feels like we have lived more than a few lifetimes in the last 365 days.
I wish I could end this post right here, with a big happily ever after. But this is real life, which you can't control and can't predict. Instead of ending the weekend with romance and rainbows, I had to first deal with some past issues popping up. Really, great timing divorce baggage.
And there it is again. The D word. Surely that should not be a topic of discussion anymore. Boring! And yet, there it is. Every once in a while I find myself having to tell my story again. And usually I am quite alright. "In order to love who you are you can't hate the experiences that shaped you". But sometimes, at the most inconvenient times, it relentlessly brings to light leftover insecurities and memories that I would rather forget. However, it also forces/encourages me to be vulnerable, and honest, and to communicate better in my current relationship. The past prepares you for the future right?
That first evening in Groot Marico we sat outside in silent darkness, and looked up at the unpolluted skies. Venus, Mercury, the moon, and Jupiter, were all bright and visible in a straight line. We joked that the planets aligned for us, lol.
Maybe they did. I got a second chance. I get to write a new story.