“So far, so good,” my text editor tells me. I’m staring at a blank screen. Without words, there are no errors for the text editor to find.
A year ago, in the space where once was our main farm-home, a heap of rubble poked me in the eye.
When I first came there after the fire, before the walls had fallen, I could almost imagine my mother-in-law stepping out of the front door. Greeting us, as she had always done. I can still feel her soft embrace, I can still see the silent sparkle in her eye at our arrival.
When you stepped into the burnt down house, the walls crumbled at a mere touch. So, we hit the whole thing down, and then slowly started removing the rubble.
We needed a space to put down our head, so we concentrated on converting the outside storeroom into a livable flat. Bokkie and a few of our relatives took to the task of building a toilet, a shower and knocking doorways through the walls to convert it into one livable space. They then punched two holes into what would be the kitchen. This would be the windows, which we eventually put in.
Kneading the window-putty in my hands, trying to get it all neat and tidy. But still, rubble every time I walked out of the front door. Neither neat nor tidy, a constant reminder.
Of cause, this all took place in a timeframe of over a year. And I’m leaving out the bit where we are still dealing with day-to-day work stress in town. I’m leaving out the bits where Bokkie had to fight a field fire. I’m leaving out the bits where some of our livestock got slaughtered, and where some of our assets got stolen. I’m leaving out a bunch of other bits too. Too many.
How do we get by in such adversity?
We get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other. We keep telling ourselves tomorrow it will look better. And if it doesn’t, we wake up and try again the next day.
There was a week or perhaps a couple of them, back there in 2018, when every time I switched on my favorite radio station, this song would be playing:
“You’re gonna be okay…, put one foot in front of the other…, just follow the light in the darkness.”
And while it often seems like I’m walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and the night is forever closing in, I keep praying. I’ve given up trying to do it on my own. I look out into the future, where I see the rain watering our drought scorched land, and country.
Slowly, day by day, the broken bricks, dust and burnt down scrap, are now almost gone. I feel a glimmer of hope. A clean canvas. A new page.
“So far, so good.” My text editor is waiting to see what words I will type next.