Winter doesn’t sneak up on you in Cape Town; it storms into your life at full force. One day you make jokes about all the sunset photos on Instagram, and the next it feels like you blacked out for a few weeks and woke up in a giant shower. Suddenly the roads are soaking, and everyone drives like idiots, and the coffee shops are overflowing with scarves and last year’s winter clothes because no one has had time to go shopping yet.
Unfortunately it’s not just the coffee shops that are overflowing. Where last week you could spot the doctors’ offices by their empty parking lots, miserable people are once again fighting each other for a spot close to the entrance. So here I am with our 18-month old who has always (yup, both times) given us early warning about winter’s coming through some kind of ferocious bug messenger.
Our doctor is running 30 minutes behind (another sign that winter takes most people off guard), and I try to convince my daughter that the slide is too wet to play on. I don’t know why I even bother. From what I hear a child’s ability to submit to basic reason doesn’t develop until they’re, like, 23 or something.
Still, after a crazy weekend where all I craved was silence, there is a strange peacefulness to the scene. Sitting here in the doctor’s back yard, a gentle rain coming down, I quietly move from despair over our situation to defiance that we won’t let all the stupid things that have happened to us over the best few weeks get the best of us. One way or another we’ll be on a plane to Portland on Sunday.
The line between despair and defiance is frightfully thin, and oh so easy to miss. Despair is inevitable, I guess. But damned if we let that bastard win.
Just as I stare at what I convince myself is definitely the edge of the world...
I saw a whale today
I saw a whale today
I live by the sea.
My wife helped our daughter make this poster for her going away party at school tomorrow. Things are getting real.
One last coffee
Sunrise walk. Not a soul outside.
Pre-meeting coffee. These are the things I'll miss about Cape Town.