My Everyday Life in New Zealand

10. The Gift

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Ever since I was a young child I can recall lazy afternoons at my grandparents’ Johannesburg home. I can still picture myself as a young child, sitting cross-legged on the carpet gazing up at my grandfather in awe. He’d sit in his lazy boy armchair, like grandfathers do, telling us stories about the days when he and my grandmother were very much younger.

Although difficult to choose just one, my favourite story would have to be the one where he’d speak about how they’d have regular street parties with their neighbours. He explained how everyone who lived in the street would bring their garden chairs out into the road on a Friday evening. He’d describe in detail how the night would unfold into a soiree of swing music and impromptu jive dancing.

I’d often hear the same story being told to my cousins but I’d never tire of hearing it. My grandfather gained so much joy from sharing stories of his life with us. I’d never be able to tell it the way he could. He was a fabulous storyteller and I hung onto every word he said.

These days, with my grandfather now having passed, I cling to that feeling of being transported back in time, so immersed in the life of this man who I simply adored. Knowing how my grandparents could dance, even in their much older age, the pictures in my mind were clear. I recall all of these stories now, of finding happiness in simple things, in easy to reach places, like little sepia movies in my mind.

It is different for everyone, but this is what New Zealand is for me. Taking back simplicity. Giving to my children what I was once so blessed to have had. Being brave enough to take this giant leap towards what I can aptly refer to simply as a GIFT, a gift that they may have the freedom to write the history that they so deserve.

“When it comes to making a big decision in your life, you have to want it more than you fear it.”

Thank you Oupa 💗

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