A Lesson in Gratitude


The last time I posted it was the 21st of September, and I had just posted of my impressions of Cairo – after just 24 hours in Egypt about to set forth for an amazing two week tour. And, it was spectacular for the obvious and not-so-obvious reasons – experiences aplenty, many past life recollections that flooded in, the most surreal realisation that most if not all of my dreams were set in Egypt (never been there), it told me a lot about who I am, and who I was.

I met some extraordinary people – locally and on our tour – who will remain friends for life. The intention of course was to blog each day’s experiences, well the days were full and the internet connection intermittent, the schedule hectic and this didn’t really leave the space to sit and write as I had hoped. I realised that perhaps I was just a whole lot better to just absorb the experience, photo journalling wherever possible (and I have some amazing photos) and just go with the flow… this proved to be a much more reasonable expectation ultimately – given the circumstances.

On every front, the trip was incredible. Two weeks is a long time to spend in any country and as you’d expect I came to know the country and its people fairly intimately over that time. While there were rough language barriers in some cases, my experiences were that the people were incredibly kind, tolerant and welcoming. I felt very blessed and will treasure the memories for a lifetime. There were unexpected surprises around every corner, and surprisingly, leaving the country at the end of the trip was far harder than I anticipated it would be. I had some wonderful souvenirs, both the bought kind and crystals from the earth itself that simply gifted themselves to me wherever I walked, and another completely unexpected one: Hepatitis A.

I was home about two weeks, and after attending a conference felt very run down. I thought I might have been getting the flu or something similar but was hospitalised 3 days later with a very severe bout of Hepatitis A and remained there for 11 days. It has taken all my time and energy since then, along with incredible support from my partner Ura to get to this stage – being able to blog again. It’s been 3 months. Two since I became unwell. And somehow, we have arrived at Christmas. The last quarter being pretty much a blur for me. Exciting, interesting, fascinating, and devastating all at once. Life is never dull around here.

Curiously, I managed to meet and fall in love with a wonderful man in my partner Ura just before I left for Egypt – indeed he was the one that encouraged me to take the trip of a lifetime which I would never have done if it hadn’t been for him. The pace at which our relationship developed took even my breath away, which is saying something. I couldn’t understand why things were unfolding so quickly or what purpose there was behind it. I was happy to let go and be in flow, I am quite ok with trusting the universe’s wisdom and would even describe myself as having a degree of ‘cautious spontaneity’, but it was swift and fast which was curious because I had decided that I was happy to be alone and single indefinitely. Yes, I know, that’s when it comes along …

So, it ended up that this amazingly generous and wonderful man was not only someone who was attentively loving, open hearted and aware; who opened his life and welcomed me with both arms, who encouraged me to head to Egypt and experience what life had to offer with both hands…. and who – as God would have it – had been immunised against Hepatitis A many years before. Because of this he was able to come and see me in hospital every day and was the only person who could because I was in isolation – as I was a public health risk! I even turned yellow for the privilege thanks to a severe bout of jaundice that followed!

The last few years have been a hell of a rollercoaster ride for me, but the one thing that got me through all of it was the realisation that things were not happening to me, but around me. That was always my saving grace: getting through a violent end to marriage; through the trauma of seeing my entire neighbourhood annihilated by flooding; my parents ill health (cancer and a heart attack) and moving on my own; through a 12 month battle to keep my job (I was eventually made redundant this year) and having to eventually make the decision to take the kids out of their beloved schools which was a very difficult decision for me to make, but necessary. Finally, I meet Ura and fortunately all of those decisions were the right ones as had I not taken the actions I had, life would have been extremely complicated and I would have been financially destitute. Things really do happen for a reason, and now I am on a completely different, inward journey – as ‘big’ as any Egypt tour, longer, with the ETA unknown. Will I come out of this a different person? Most likely yes as I have every reason to believe that this was all necessary – the last unturned stone of transformation. The timing, on a metaphysical level, is impeccable. So I’ll be using this blog to document my moves forwards, sideways and backwards, as I learn to accept things as they now are, and move forward in a way that is both realistic and beneficial and open to the love that Ura bestows on me. With that, and the wonderful love of well wishers, my family and incredible friends no matter what, I am one very lucky lady and I am deeply grateful for all I have, make no mistake.