Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I battled for words to add to this incredible sunset, taken in Cahora Bassa....but found this incredible poem penned by my amazing Granny, Anna Susanna Horak Coetzee, so many years ago, and felt it fit so well..... When people ask me what has kept me going through the troubles that come to all of us, I reply; "I stood yesterday, I can stand today" & I will not permit myself to think about what might happen tomorrow. I have known want & struggle & anxiety & despair. I have always had to work. As I look back upon my life I see it as a battlefield strewn with the wrecks of dead dreams & broken hopes & shattered illusions - a battle in which I always fought with the odds tremendously against me & which has left me scarred & bruised & old before my time. I have no pity for myself; no more tears to shed over the past & gone sorrows; no envy for the women who have been spared all I have gone through. For I have lived. They only existed. I have drunk the cup of life down to its very dregs. They have only sipped the bubbles on top of it. I know things they will never know. I see things to which they are blind. It is only the woman whose eyes have been washed clear with tears who get the broad vision, that is so. I have learned in the great University of HARD KNOCKS a philosophy that no woman who has had an easy life ever acquires. I have learnt to live with each day as it comes & not borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow, because, when the time comes the things I so fear, the strength & wisdom to meet it will be given me. Little annoyances no longer have the power to affect me. After you have seen your whole edifice of happiness topple & crash in ruins about you, It never matters to you again that a servant forgets to put the serviettes on the table or spills the soup. I have learnt not to expect too much of people, & so I can still get happiness out of a friend who isn't quite true to me or the acquaintance who gossips. I have acquired a sense of humor, because there were so many things over which I had either to cry or laugh. And when a woman can joke about her troubles instead of having hysterics, nothing can ever hurt her much again. I do not regret the hardships I have known, because through them I have touched life at every point I have lived And, It was worth the price I had to pay. "It is so. It cannot be otherwise".