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Cape Point South Africa
Wed, October 1, 2014
The Time of My Life Phase III: Fully Alive in a New Land
(Editor’s Note: For the earlier parts of Tamara’s life changing journey, please visit these links:)
http://www.cosozo.com/article/time-my-life-phase-i-letting-go-stuff-and-jumping
http://www.cosozo.com/article/time-my-life-phase-ii-getting-flow
 
 
I am nearly 62, and I intentionally call my life every day to one of purpose: trusting my inner voice, finally. An important purpose, particularly now living in a temporary situation with more courage and pluck than I have had to manifest since 1999. I have learned that the key to happiness is in being flexible. More than two years ago, as I was sleeping very little, eating even less, and getting paid even less than that; wanting to create and offer a service of value to the benefit of mankind…and we were doing it too.

I still know that I was on an important track with good people. I had dedicated my life and assets to three years of no income to produce a brilliant concept and important content. It was fulfilling and rewarding work, truly the stuff that creates great quality of life. Then came the Voice, telling me to “leave the company and leave home”. And in August the nice man arrived at my door, offering to buy my home, launching me into the move and opportunity of a lifetime and I have been acclimating to my new life for almost a year.
 
December 2013, I have moved a car load of my things from Michigan to my brother’s beach house in South Carolina, not sure why, just felt like it was the thing to do. It’s quiet, I can write there when the time comes. Until then, I am pretty sure I will be going to South Africa with my daughter, Cara, her new (South African) husband, Blake and my 8 month old grand daughter, Caitlynn… for a month.
 
His paperwork is taking longer than expected and it doesn’t matter that we have flights leaving Christmas Day. If the necessary travel documents don’t arrive in time, we don’t go. So in terms of my trip back to Michigan from South Carolina, am I packing for a week in the worst winter the northeast has ever seen? Or do I pack for a month in the South African summer of 90 degrees? I prepare for both scenarios.
 
So December 23rd, as I am in transit to Michigan, the kids make way for the Immigration Office in Detroit, amazingly, intuitively they find the  right person authorized to release his documents and with 36 hours to spare, we are officially, legally going to South Africa to meet our new family. My intent is to help my daughter who will be traveling alone on this 26-hour flight with an 8-month-old baby.
 
I can’t help myself, I stop for a moment to notice all that has occurred in the past 60 days to make this possible. I am free as a bird to take this trip of a lifetime, to create memories, bond with my grandbaby, daughter and new friends. I am completely worry-free in this Zen life. I have intentionally freed myself of all possessions and expectations, attachments and timelines. I am Free - for the first time in my life to go anywhere and do anything I desire.
 
As is my habit, I frequently find myself looking back at the life I have lived so far, studying the outcome in an effort to Free myself, to change my previous life thinking and to begin a new thought for this round. I get that the choices I have in front of me Now are a rare gift, and I will try to use it this time, wisely, pay attention and be absolutely present in each moment. And as I make this commitment to myself and all the Powers guiding me, I can admit that I don’t know the half of it yet and that’s a new feeling for me…so, I won’t dance until I hear the music, but when I do hear it – I am prepared to dance to my heart’s content!
 
This may possibly be why so many people never step off the path because when we have our role to fulfill, comforts and predictability in our life - we will do anything to preserve that even if it stopped being healthy for us a long time ago.
 
On the other hand, I now feel rather like Diane Lane’s character in the Movie Under the Tuscan Sun, when she jumps off the tour bus in a fantastic leap, arms flailing with fear for her life and a manner of ‘no going back now’ because the only way through is forward!! She was terrified and excited to have a glimpse of possibilities she never imagined. It surely takes a momentum of its own and sometimes the best thing you can do is to hold on tight, with eyes wide open. I’m going to Africa!!!
 
Preparations were rapid fire and we hardly slept at all  just 24 hrs to take care of a thousand details so we could be gone for an entire month, and oh yes… Christmas! So Christmas morning we are on our way, in a blizzard, to the airport. Blake had made his flight arrangements a year previously so he is flying on his own. Cara, Caitlynn, and I are together thankfully, for the 26 hours of travel. I will spare you the details, but imagine a very active, smart, vocal 8-month-old little red head that is funnily enough also cutting teeth! You get the picture, yet she did fantastic and we were beyond exhausted by the time we hit Amsterdam. Still 12 hours and the longest leg of the trip ahead of us!

Proudly, we made it the entire way, on 15 minutes of rest, a boatload of patience, and great teamwork.
 
We were met, exhausted beyond delirium, at the Cape Town Airport by Blake’s entire family,. Disoriented as I was, I suddenly realize that I have no technology with me whatsoever. I have no phone to check, no Facebook to post, no computer with which to email or journal my thoughts…truly the most courageous act of the trip so far to my thinking.  
 
We pile into the van and make our way for the first stop of many: Blake’s father's home in Gordon’s Bay. As we turn out of the airport the first point of interest is the shanty towns along the highway. They are everywhere for miles and my nose is against the window, mouth open. The “homes” are beyond simple. In comparison, as Americans we are horrified to see a dog in a dilapidated doghouse of the same quality. Miles and miles we travel and the people are walking… to where?
 
The housing is sometimes 12x15 feet, cinderblock walls and a door, but for the most part they are wood, sheet metal materials, found, roughly assembled, or what looks too small for a human much less a family… but it is home to someone. I am observing…witnessing this, and not entirely without emotion and sadness for the conditions these people endure. At the same time, I know this is not the whole story; this is not the entirety of these people’s suffering.
 
We arrive and spend a lovely evening meeting the family and enjoying great food and gifts. The next day we are off to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, to stay on the family farm. This is wine country and the equivalent to Napa Valley. The landscape is breathtaking everywhere I look, whispering “Land Before Time”. Each town is charming and historical, the vineyards and wineries, all very European, reflective of their Dutch Heritage.
 
Beyond all of those influences though, I can see Africa. I can see her in the soil, I can smell her in the farms that are the landscape and I can see her in the eyes looking back at me that are a hundred years old and my age. I am here to meet the people, and the people are hard working, focused, and respectful of each other and there is a self-respect too, clearly.
 
I meet a woman named Betty who has been with this family for three generations. She looks to be about 78 years old, I later learn that she is my age. Many have no teeth; they are pulled because their culture feels it is more attractive to have no teeth. And everyone works it seems. They may have several jobs because it is difficult to find full time work.
 
There is the opportunity to have several jobs because unlike America, where the simple labor jobs have disappeared because of the necessity to cut expenses and maximize profits, they still have grocery baggers, and parking attendants who stand in the lot and direct you into the nearest available parking space. They are there for security, looking pressed and ironed, quite presentable to assist patrons, and offer a cheerful presence for the price of a small tip. Tipping is common practice as the public knows this is their livelihood.
 
These jobs keep them from begging, and I only saw one beggar during my entire visit. He was a small boy of 8 or so, charming, and smart, very cute and knew exactly what to say to tug on my heart. I later found out that someone who puts children on the street for their own living had planted him there.
 
I see homes, churches and historical buildings with thatched roofs, all created that way in alignment with their climate, their architectural and cultural history. In Cape Town as well as in the mountains the feeling was quite current and metropolitan, yet echoed times gone by for us in the States. It is a slower pace, a throw back feel to the days in the States 50 years ago, when we ate dinner at a table together and talked about what was happening in the world and our own lives, or just plain telling stories.
 
I think of the long arc of how this journey began, all the way back to the Voice and even before. I reflect on my decision to trust and all that it has brought. From the discomfort to the uncertainty to these very moments of wonder, fulfillment, adventure, and awakening. And as I stand in this majestic land so ancient and yet so new and fresh to me, I know that I am exactly where I was always meant to be.
 
This new culture, new experiences, new people – old and young have things to teach me, to show me that will help me, empower me, broaden me for the next part of my journey. And as I stand and take it all in, it fills me and reconnects me with the true majesty of being fully alive in the world and in my Spirit. With new awarenesses coming, just right around the corner…

I am remembering the magnificence of all that has just passed by me in the time that I have been here, please God help me remember this because I have it all in my head. There has been literally not a moment to take notes, to recall the name of the seaside town, or the wonderful woman that felt like my grandmother from another life. Never have I met so many people (some for only a few moments or hours) that I instantly loved; they were all given everything my heart can hold as I hugged them goodbye, knowing full well that I may never see them again - but will remember our connection always.

And I notice in retrospect something even greater. During this trip, I had wanted to become so completely in the moment, so present in the Now, that I would lose awareness of self and just Be… free of ego. I can honestly say I did it!

I saw things that truly were what I would call “awesome”, leaving me awe struck as in mouth hanging open, eyes wide and I could not get enough of it…

The landscape is spectacular in every direction and one of a kind; colors like no other place because it takes 480 million years to create that kind of magnificent color. A tiny destination seaside town, suddenly appears on the horizon. The sky is filled with a thousand kite boarders from down the road and all around the world. I see herds of antelope, ostrich, and baboons. I am in a land where I can experience my dream – to look out across the vista and see not one sign of man. A mere glimpse of this makes me beyond happy, and as we’re driving along the highway I realize that I've lost track of time, lost in witnessing the sheer beauty of witnessing land the way it has been for thousands of years. Everywhere we go the mountains are there, or the ocean is there looking back at us… a thousand times I exclaim, “My God, look where we are!!”

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