Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 14th June

I went on a horse today for the first time in many years. And it was great. I also rode a bit into the mountains for the first time in a very long time and it was like coming home. Well, kind of.

I’ve always loved riding, but have never done it properly or competitively, at any rate. We always had horses on the farm and spent many lovely hours on holiday whenever we came here riding up the valley, along the road and, occasionally, up into the mountains.

For me, that is one of the best things to do. I love being on a horse, although it hurt me, as I find muscles I never knew I had (or, at least, forgot about), because I ride so infrequently. I could, by choice, stay in the saddle for a long time, if my muscles would allow me to 😉

In the last few days, we have been around and about: starting in the Drakensberg, then travelling to Golden Gate and, tonight, staying on the farm. It really feels like we’ve been away for a very long time. That is such a lovely feeling.

It is also the result of us being so very lucky to have places like the farm to come to fairly regularly. Part of the legacy of what Mum and Dad left us.

I won’t say anything about the chemo taste… 😉

I will say that I have been feeling quite a bit more normal in the last few days – still tired, but, also, not pushed to get up at a very early hour to make breakfast and get things organized for school and the day.

Everything has its moments.

This evening, I sit in a corner of the cottage that is so familiar, but so new, too, as it has been rearranged. A flood of memories and images keeps superimposing itself over the reality of now, reinforcing how I usually feel about the farm: that it is about us and now, but also about Mum and Dad and us as kids, as well as being about the family in the past. So much history and so much familiarity.

This weekend we set in place the next step in the ‘story’ of the development of the farm and, I suppose, the building of our own history.

It seems that there have been so many changes in the last year. Change is inevitable and is not always bad. Sometimes it can lead to greater things. Sometimes it takes you down a road you never really considered before. I think that that is what has happened after losing Mum so suddenly: we were all forced into a situation where we had to cope and find ways that we’d never even thought of before. Then, of course, along came the cancer thing. That was a whole new kind of journey.

All of this has given us strength, I think, to work together moving forwards and to plot our own way, building on everything Mum and Dad gave us, taught us and instilled in us.

Such a great legacy.

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