Christmas season in Cape Town started buzzing at the end of November. There was chatter all around about festive season coming and the appropriateness to put work aside and relax. By mid December the traditional Christmas lights were shinning brightly in the center of the city. That event actually marked an even more heightened excitement about the idea of relaxing, gathering gifts for loved ones, decorating, carols by candlelight services, preparing way too much food and a marking of a city shut down until late January.
The atmosphere and time of the year ushered me into a time of reflection. Simply amazing is how I would describe this year. In one year I lived in 3 different counties and visited others. I realize that home has transitioned from Houston, TX to a more internal place. I find myself now calling home a place where I have created a community, where I feel loved and safe. Home now has different faces, sounds of different languages, nature that produces different vegetation and love that’s expressed in new ways. It felt a bit uneasy at times through the transition but I am grateful that it now feels stable, safe and secure. If I pause, get still and breath in the presence of God, I feel at home.
This Christmas home was among new family members who have taken very good care of me since I arrived in Cape Town. We sat around a table complete with seafood curry, duck, chicken, turkey, veggies, assortments of drinks and salads and a traditional Christmas cracker. We laughed, shared stories, reminisced and created new memories together. I was also blessed to spend quality time with my teammates as we exchanged gifts in secret Santa, shared food in a brunch potluck, and created community as we laughed and learned new things about each other. They are now also my family members.
Am I far from home? Well, it has been redefined. I am even more blessed to have home be wherever my feet take me. Only God can transform my heart in this way. I miss home (and eternally grateful for so much love and support), both the old and new but am grateful for the internal stillness and peace that came this Christmas, in Cape Town, home sweet home.
Cape Town Bold Empowerment Partnership, South Africa
GMF International , Class 2014