Sometimes, things happen during your day that remind you that John Lennon was right - not about everything - but about life being what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
And so it is today.
In amongst all the anxiety and rush towards closing up this year, and planning for 2012 (2012 – how did that happen? The 7 year old me thought I’d be living in a space ship by 2010) – slightly less than 3kg of brand new baby has reminded me that life will take care of itself, mostly.
It is a few years ago now that a housemate and friend returned from an ‘eat-pray-love’ journey in South America. Admittedly, I think it was more ‘caipirinhas, hiking and shoe shopping’ type journey than ‘pasta, yoga and medicine man’ – she’s probably the only backpacker I know who invested in more than a dozen pair of shoes on her journey to find herself. And when she and her shoes returned to London it was a night that I had a farewell of another friend – who was leaving grubby London for a new life. So she strapped on some new shoes, lent me a jumper (she always had better stuff than me, even after half a year in a backpack) and we went to celebrate her return, and his leaving.
Only that chance encounter became more than that. His new life wasn’t what the opportunity of that one night might hold. And he came back. And she was still unpacking her shoes.
Soon she was unpacking her shoes in a new house, and a new life. One that has so far led them to the Caymans, Amsterdam, KwaZulu Natal, London and back to Kwazulu Natal again. I think. It is quite easy to get that wrong.
Today she had their second baby – a little girl I’ve been waiting to meet for months. Their first baby is a favourite – this second promises to be so too. I was lucky enough that their international life brought them back to me for a time this year, a time when I really, really needed a girlfriend.
And so today I remember that sometimes you just have to say ‘yes’ – you just have to put on your glad rags, head out, turn up, not knowing who you might meet, or that a chance encounter might lead to a whole new life.
So very pleased to meet you.