Goodbye SA / by Cherryl Duncan

"From the time we are born, there is a wildish urge within us that desires our souls lead our lives." -Clarissa Pinkola Estes

- A quote from my favourite book at the moment; possibly for all time.
 
It’s a book about encouraging women to stay in touch with the wild and soulful parts of their nature and a book I refer to often when my soul needs feeding, like now, as I pack up all my (few by now) belongings and head back to Munich to live.
 
There is a part in the book I find especially relevant at the moment and is something I spent a week exploring with the people who came with me on my yoga retreat in Greece last month, and that is the expectation of consistency.
 
I have been called flaky, inconsistent, impulsive and unstable more times in my life than I can remember, and up until now I have seen it as a weakness, a fundamental flaw, like something was broken in me. I felt embarrassed every time I announced another change in my life. Change in the form of career,  relationship, idea, belief, or country.  I found there to be an invisible threshold where others wer supportive and encouraging and even envious of my ability to change, but quickly found myself in the  ‘too much’ zone with the badges of flaky and unstable pinned firmly to the lapel of my personality.
 
In her book, Women who run with the wolves, Clarissa says that to expect consistency from a wild woman is like expecting nature to remain constant. The wild woman is in touch with herself as part of nature and the qualities of the earth, the seasons, and the weather is to change.
 
I am very aware that it is challenging to love a changing thing. We want things to stay the same, we want to be able to rely on these things and on people, and we want this because we are essentially afraid of change. The difficult truth, and despite our fear, is that If we get still enough, for long enough and look closely enough, we will see that everything is in fact changing.
 
I am aware that my dramatic changing existence makes me someone difficult to love in a conventional way, and yet I am. What’s required to truly love someone is expecting nothing in return. That’s a big ask! And yet I have people in my life that prove it over and over again. I have also found, through my own practice of seeing people and loving people as they are, that I get back much more than my limited expectation previously allowed.
 
This piece of writing is dedicated to those people in my life who love me the way I am that love me in spite of my nature to move and to change.  
 
Having said this, I do know the following to be true: There is a part of me that is unchanging and eternal. I challenge all the beings in my life to first look for that part in themselves so that they are able to see it in me. I know we will be together always through all of my and your changing tides whether we live in the same city, country, planet or realm. I believe love to be that great.
 
It’s with this that I say farewell (for now) to South Africa and close this chapter.