Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

Life and its strange ways

It’s been quite a spell since I last ventured out here to this inner sense space- life has played out in such a way that much has been going on and much has been shared else where. It’s good to be back! For some reason when I haven’t been somewhere for a long time, on arriving at the moment of my return to the long unvisited place, a bitter sweetness engulfs me- I am reminded that there are reasons why we go to some places at certain times in our lives and not others. Thus there must have been a reason why I hadn’t come here for the last long while. Whatever it is, it’s all good.

As said a lot has happened in the last year and a bit, that one could write ad infinitum if attempting to tell the tale as a whole, so I will simply express my deepest gratitude for the events (good and ’bad’) that have been unfolding from last summer till now.

We have been blessed with another beautiful boy child who has come into our life with quite a bang. He has brought with him much for us to love, to learn and to develop and grow from. From the moment we heard the news of his coming, Life began to change in an enormous way – we were –as most expectant parents- incredibly excited to receive this precious gift, and thanked our lucky stars with every passing day that heralded his arrival. After what felt like a long wait, the day of his arrival finaly came and he was the picture of pure perfection. Nothing would have prepared us for all the surprises that he had in store for us.

We revelled in his presence and were overjoyed at the mere sight of his little body, so very excited to take him home with us.Little did we know that when the day comes to take him home , we would be told that he needed to remain in hospital for a little while longer. A heart ’defect’ would be detected that would begin a series of constant hospital visits for an indefinite period of time.

Before that fateful day of hearing the news of our baby’s heart condition, we had been breathing a sigh of relief for having seen the pregnancy and delivery through, we were celebrating the beginning of what we intended to be a new life as a family of four. Well…..

It was about to become a charmed life alright, we heard this report on how his heart will need extra help to assist it to its completion, the details were many, and the shock deep. However we rode this wave of emotion until it subsided and had to make peace with what life had brought to our doorstep in the beautiful, precious gift that is our son.

The universe conspired to help him and us through this new experience, as if by magic, everything fell into place, the doctors, surgeons, nurses and family rallied to come to his aid- everything operated smoothly from beginning to end. Our little one’s body allowed nature to nurture and start the healing process while waiting for the inevitable,albeit necessary heart operation. The most pressing of the defects self corrected to a point where there would never be a need for it to be fixed, what remained was the hole in the heart. This would be mended by means of an operation when the time was right.

Not a day went by without me thinking of that long awaited yet dreaded day, when they would proceed to do the operation. Mixed feelings of relief and fear intermingled, I looked forward to having our baby’s heart restored, yet I dreaded the prospects of having him away from us for any amount of time. My mind recoiled at the thoughts of operating rooms, knives, scars, the works. I ceased to imagine what would take place, for my imaginings only served to fill me with more and more feelings of trepidation….but alas, this was to be the necessary solution.

The universe being as compassionate as it is, offered us ways of coping and dealing with what was happening and what was to come- support from previously unknown places, people and sources, availed itself. By the time the operation date came, we were confident, confident that our boy would glide through the process with grace.

The day came, the operation happened and our son’s heart was mended. Another process of healing was about to take place, this proved to be yet another steep uphill experience that would lead us to the summit. It promised to be as long as it would be, and all we could do was take it one step at a time, focus only on what was at hand. The hours dragged and galloped at the same time after he was admitted to the ICU. Nothing else mattered on that day but the safety of our baby.

On our first visit to the ICU, as my eyes beheld the precious sight or our now vulnerable looking baby, the sight almost brought me to my knees, I was immobilized for what seemed like an eternity- my senses just couldn’t accept or absorb the look of what was going on before my eyes. It took me a minute or two to marshall my thoughts and pluck up all the courage within me to move myself forward towards the bed of our baby boy. It took yet another minute to convince myself that this is what the beginning of a healing process can look like. It is not always easy to digest, I had to pull myself together, remind myself that for some things in life, ’believing is seeing’ and perhaps for me that instance of my first visit to ICU was one of those things. The lessons of healing began to unfold.

After two days our brave warrior was transferred to another ward , where the rest of his recuperation would take place. Right before our very own eyes we witnessed him moving from having numerous tubes attached to him and all sorts of machine connected to his body, to being completely without tubes and breathing on his own, his heart beating solo to the new rhythm, all in less than a week.

What wonders these little ones are. I grew to have a lot of respect for their resilience, fighting spirit and ability to trust in the process. Mine was a steep learning curve during every day of the week our son spent in the hospital. No two days were the same, and neither was I after every single visit,a change took place

It’s been two days now since he came home,as I write this he’s lying on the couch shouting and laughing with his older brother who is five and has just lost his first tooth.

If someone would have told me ahead of time what the last week would have looked or felt like, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. And if I would have known what the future had in store when I first found out about the coming of Zondwa, I would have doubted my ability to survive an ordeal such as the one we’ve been through, but now I realise something new.

We are capable of doing so much more than we could ever imagine, we have the capacity to get through even the things we thought impossible, and only then when the situation presents itself do we see exactly what we are made of.

Human beings are powerful and the human spirit is made to triumph.

Beautiful Zondwa, I give thanks to you for coming into our lives, and teaching us the value of trusting in the process, teaching us how to lean on others for support when we most need it, and also for bringing us so much joy and love into our now ’family of four’. You are our Hero. I raise my fist to you and salute you.

Camagu!

Living and learning

The School of Life.

As people, we often recognise certain experiences as learning curves, which are characteristically steep by nature. At least that is the case in my life. In general there seems to be a consensus that life/earth is a school and we are all students.

When it comes to learning, there are various types of students, those who want to pass with full colours, those who aim for the bare minimum pass mark so long as it’s a pass and those who give it a go and see how it all turns out. I guess there are times when we are one of the above, depending on the circumstances.

I’ve concluded for myself that if life is a school then there must be teachers, the question then is ‘who are these teachers?’. They say experience is the greatest teacher, and I reckon that every human being that we meet and relate to has the potential to teach us something or the other. Sometimes our learning happens without us even being aware of the process of learning taking place. We learn without realising that we are being taught, and our teachers may teach us without realising that they are teaching. It is often in retrospect that we see the picture more clearly, as they say ‘hindsight is 20/20 vision’.

On a personal note I must admit that I have always been a self proclaimed student of life, the eternal student if you may, yet I have not mastered the art of being a good student. Recently it occured to me that there have been many teachers that have come my way but may have gone unnoticed as I have always expected that learning would happen a certain way. This perception has blinded me to many a valuable lesson which has led to lessons being repeated time and time again. Over the years of hitting my head against the same wall, I now remain in the comfort of knowing that when the student is ready, a teacher will come. I now consider that a teacher may come in any form, I’ve let go of the expectations and preconceived ideas.

When the teaching begins the trick is to pay attention, ask questions and listen for the answer.

In the last few months I have learnt the value of admitting things to one’s self. ‘First to thine own self be true’ There are instances, moments and situations in life when we err on the side of truth. Sometimes we know that we have handled some things rather badly and could have done things differently, yet we are too afraid to even admit to our own selves that this is the case.These times are difficult to deal with if one is afraid to be ‘wrong’ , thus they lead to complicating matters even further.Our shortcomings somehow seem too hard to admit to ourselves let alone to other people, we seem always intent on being right, or at least not come across as wrong.

Given how freeing it is to admit one’s foibles, it feels like such a waste of time and opportunity to nurse the illusion of having to be right. Saying I mishandled a situation doest necessarily amount to admitting guilt, or taking the blame for whatever went wrong, I have found that it merely opens up the lines for dialogue.It gives a platform from which a healthy discussion about the way forward can be held. It keeps the communication lines open.

Every new year offers us new chances and opportunities to do things differently, to try other modes of operating. We make resolutions which are often idealistic and are bound to fizzle out into nothingness very early in the game, but nevertheless are made. Because we are so filled with hope and anticipation we don’t worry about whether or not our resolutions will be followed through. The symbolic change that comes with the turn of the new year is enough to make us believe that we all can turn a new leaf, start a new chapter and better our ways.

This year that is 2011, My hope is that I will keep things simple. Let my yesses be yes and my No’s be No. Free myself from the shackles of keeping the illusion. Play less games and Live and Love more. Most importantly, learn to recognise and appreciate the lessons and teachers that may come my way.

On that note, I wish myself and all a Happy New year, may it be filled with prosperitiy, love and forgiveness.

Here’s looking at 2011!

Camagu!