Reflecting on memories, dreams

They say a picture can say a thousand words. Right? Right. I’m flicking through photos on my phone as we speak.

Some catch my interest. Like this pic, the one on this page.

Pretty boring pic, it is. At face value, at least.

But, on closer inspection, it’s a photo bursting with stories. Enough to fill a book.

Like this: See that little white sign – and the bird aflight, the blue crane? She’s the symbol of the Theewaterskloof Municipality, alongside the words, “The Cape Country Meander”.

Why’s this important?

Well, I named it – as the founding chair of that union, the tourism offerings of eight towns, strung together into a delicious meander through the Cape countryside…

Seems like half a lifetime ago now. Perhaps that’s where I should have remained, a world so close to my heart, tourism – the industry my own life is most aligned to.

Exploration, adventure, sights and sounds that fill one’s whole heart. With gratitude, and delight.

Or perhaps I should string my own adventures together, a collection of these columns, into my own exploration manual.

It could be called: “The Ride of Our Lives: A Navigation of life”?

We’ll see.

In the photo on this page, I see a bike too. My new bike. An identical bike to my son’s, which I bought him a few years ago.

To congratulate him for getting his school’s first academic colours.

Soon after buying it, we set off into the mountains of the Klein Karoo – my son and his mates, Dads & Lads. Down into Die Hel. And through the Baviaanskloof…

An astonishing adventure. And yet that was primary school. How time flies.

Three years have passed. He’s added another 25% of his life.

And what memories do I have of those past three years? A few serious adventures.

Like into the Namib Desert. But not enough. In three years’ time he’ll be in first year university. What memories will I have then?

So. Seeing this bike in this photo is a reminder to me:

No more waiting.

Plan those adventures. With specific dates. Preferably with best mates in an old Landy called “The Rust Bucket” by our side.

I should book the leave today. Make sure another three years don’t pass, until we’re on red bikes together again in the mountains, my son and I.

In the centre is a pole. With wire marks on it. Once used for fencing.

And it reminds me of a mate, I’ve not seen for so long, Jamii Hamlin, inventor of EcoStake – the innovative, lightweight metal pole that’s a far better option in a dozen ways.

Especially ecologically – no need to plant forests of aliens, any more…

Must catch up with that man. A mate who stood by me, once. As true friends do.

In the photo, I see the Elgin Valley. Another chapter there, could be told.

And I see a bontebok, after which the National Park is named near Swellendam, and the annual canoe race which flows past it, in the next fortnight.

And that’s another reminder: Must start canoeing again…

So. A picture can say 1 000 words. Take loads of them.

Not just for the poses and the smiles.

But for their collections of clues, to the full richness of our lives.