Today I smelt the sea.
I suppose I should have expected it, but it came as a surprise when I crested the final hill and there it was – spread out below me. A single pole fence separated me from the cliff edge. And the waves rolled in and crashed on the rocks below, as cormorants flew towards the shore and seagulls soared on the wind that blew them inland.
I breathed in lungfuls of the fresh air, delighting in the sense of freedom and joy the sight and tang of salt gave me.
You see, I wrote, a couple of weeks ago of the whirlwind my life had become. For I had reached a crossroads in my life and now it was time for change.
My precious home in Johannesburg – the one that was a gift from God for seven years – had been sold. I had sorted through my possessions and let many of them go. I had put my little car on the back of a transport vehicle (‘Hold tight,’ I told it, to the amusement of the driver) and packed up the belongings I was going to keep, and waved them off as they trundled up the road en route to their new home.
For I was leaving the city I had called home for almost thirty four years and moving to a small seaside town on the Cape Coast. I had long wondered if this place could ever be my home – and now it is.
Today I breathed in sea air – grateful not just for the move and new horizons, but for a challenge issued, accepted and conquered.
Johannesburg is relatively flat, you see. My new home is not. Friends assured me my little car would cope well with the steep hills. But it was not the car I was concerned about. It was the driver.
How would I manage the hills?
Without being able to conquer them, I would need to rely on others to give me freedom to travel beyond the bounds of the town – and that would never do.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, I told myself.