Where Are You?

I reach my hand to touch your face

And find your face not there

I long to trace your fingertips –

Your hands are nowhere near

I wish to look into your eyes

And meet your soul with mine

Your image haunts my every dream!

I want to shout and scream

Where are you, in this world?

All I have are thoughts

And sweet reminders of the times

We touched and loved and kissed

I hunger now for you, my love

The memories have to fill

That aching void that never goes

It stays with me through all.

Memory Tree

With the magic of Google (thank you, Google maps), I was able to locate the exact tree under which I sliced the soft skin of my foot, of which I still bear the scar. I was six years old when I was stood on a broken piece of glass, and all I saw and felt was never-ending blood.

I love that the tree is so well maintained, and clearly loved with that bright red ribbon.

If I close my eyes and travel back, I smell banana yoghurt as well as choc chip, I remember ballet lessons, being left out of my 8 year birthday party (all my friends wanting to play with my sister), a red bicycle, and a broken collarbone. I remember wooden floors and happy times. Sitting in the backseat of the car holding a tea towel over my bleeding foot, all the while it was getting soaked.

And the Friday after my birthday we left school early, moved from my home town, away from my best friend (who for some reason must have not been at my party), and to the big lights of the city (Johannesburg). Away from the beautiful tree, and the best school ever. Jenny, David, Angie.

An Old Friend

I met up recently with an old friend. We last saw each other seventeen years ago. And when I saw her again, I immediately recognized who she was. I recognized her mannerisms, her voice, her personality, her way of being. What I realized is, we remember. Throughout our life we connect with others. And they imprint themselves on us, and we on them. What impressions do we want to leave? How will we be remembered?

How do we want to be remembered? 

My Name is Vonita

I had the wonderful fortune of landing a part time job in my last year of school. I worked four hours on a Saturday morning for a local optometrist. Technically, I was not the best candidate as the receptionist position required the person to be bilingual (English and Afrikaans). In those days towards the end of apartheid South Africa, there were many people who spoke Afrikaans and Afrikaans only. Whilst I can certainly understand Afrikaans being spoken and can hold a basic conversation kindergarten level, I can hardly say I am fluent (or even sound half-normal speaking it). But good fortune prevailed and I got the job. As an aside, it was a life-saver. The four hours per week paid well, and covered all my university pocket money expenses, driving lessons, and part of my last years tuition. Without taking focus away from my studies.

The optometrist was a tall man. He also lectured at the local university. At that stage I attended a convent, had minimal male interaction (at all), and found him totally, completely intimidating. Being a man and all. And a big, tall, older one at that. And an important one. His wife ran the practice and she was the one who hired me. She was lovely. Grace personified. One of my duties was to make hot black tea, and lemon, and serve it to her husband in his office. I must have appeared as a timid little mouse. I hardly said a word to him, would deliver the tea and escape. One day I spilt the tea in the saucer. It happened just as I was about to place it down. I didn’t know what to do. I placed it down. He kindly gave it back to me and told me to bring a new one. The tea would would drip on his desk and papers and he couldn’t have that. I apologized, took the cup and saucer and returned with a new one. Unspilt. Dry saucer. Yay! (And I never made that same mistake).

I must have been working there for a good few months. One morning I took the tea into his office. He thanked me, but addressed me with the wrong name. Thank you, Michelle. Michelle was the person who worked there previously. In that moment, I managed to rise above my feelings of intimidation, and overcome my shyness. I thought to myself, just say welcome. Easy, then leave, exit the office. Instead I replied

You’re welcome. 


My name is Vonita.