A gift of cycling, to honour our lives

Sunset over False Bay

A week ago today, KFM 94.5’s Ryan O’Connor paused between songs on the radio, and said: “This is an immediate call to prayer.

“A machine is about to be switched off. A tiny child is about to leave us, is about to take flight …

“Right now, among us, at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town.

“This little soul has battled with multiple complications since birth.

“She has hung on to life every single day … she is now one year old.

“No more.

“This is a call to wrap this Somerset West family with a million blessings, from us all.

“As she begins her ‘Crossing’ ”

Ryan asked that his station’s one million listeners stop, for a moment, on that Wednesday morning, as this tiny child began her next journey.

One senses a great many listeners did

The Crossing is the song by Johnny Clegg, he wrote to say farewell to his career-long dance partner, Dudu Mntowaziwayo Ndlovu, who died in a shooting in 1992. The man alongside whom he had stormed a thousand stages, in dynamic Zulu war dance.

Johnny honoured not just Dudu’s life, but his transition, as he “took flight”, soared like an eagle.

The Somerset West family which suffered the tragic loss of their daughter, granddaughter, cousin, niece, have a long journey now too – as they search for acceptance and peace.

The evening after the child’s passing, I arrived at the Strand beach, and before me was the image on this page. To the south, towards Rooi Els, the sea was electric sky blue. And to the west, the setting sun lit the world gold.

I was reminded of three quotes:

First, two by Albert Einstein:

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”

And: “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Before me appeared to be a miracle.

And then my personal quote, which frames my Facebook page: “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea,” all of which I found, as I paddled out on to that golden pond, that night.

A night or two later, I was asked to promote a cause perfectly in line with my experiences of that week – a fund-raiser for Helderberg Hospice.

A bike ride for the dignity of those who may not have long with us.

It seemed most apt, to honour this organisation, with a celebration of life, on this Ride of Our Life.

There are still a dozen team places open. Teams of 12 need to commit just one hour, or teams of six just two hours each, or teams of four, three hours each. Whichever which way. Here it is.

If you love and honour life, it’s an awesome way to make your mark.

Cycling for Life!

The annual Helderberg Hopsice Cycling for Life event will be held on Saturday May 20, at the Sports Hall at Somerset House, Somerset West, from 6am to 6pm.

Sponsored teams of cyclists will compete over 12 hours to clock up the most kilometres raced on a trainer in one day.

Teams of three, six or 12 riders take up the challenge to transform energy into money, with each team undertaking to raise a minimum of R3 600 entrance fee to ensure that the special care of Helderberg Hospice can continue to be made available to all in our community.

Contact Cheryl or Celestine on 021 852 4608 for details.