We just spent a glorious five days in Durban with my parents, and today I am feeling sad and nostalgic… Mark says that always happens when I return home from my other home, and I’ve been wondering why. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Durban is baked into my cells. I step off the plane and breathe in the humid, muggy air and I can feel my body go, “ahhhh….”. I love Cape Town, and I love living in Hout Bay, and I’m so grateful for the life we’ve built here – don’t get me wrong. I always joke with Mark that Durban is better because the ocean is warm (which it is because it is) but I’ve made peace with living in Cape Town. Still, there is something about an early evening thunderstorm where the raindrops are so fat they hit the driveway and splatter, and the air changes from an unbearable hairdryer hot to blissfully cool, and you want to wrap yourself up in it. There’s something about a cheeky midday swim in the sea that leaves you refreshed and alive, with your body tingling. There’s something about the constant wet of summer, where the ground seems to exhale green. There’s something about the spice and smells as you drive around, the variety of people you see walking down the streets, the scent of curry that’s baked into the fabric of the city. I just love it – I love it all.
And there’s an added layer, I think, because so much of Durban is the norm, for me. Mark and I went to the Design Indaba Simulcast (which was exceptional, except for patchy afternoon connections) and every day we drove along the road I used to take to school. There was a grassy dip on the side of the road with a couple of huge rocks in it, and I said to Mark: That’s what ‘rock’ means to me – that, right there. My pictures of how to see the world came from Durban.
And I get looked after when I’m there! Proper looked after, by my parents. I’m still the mom, of course, and still doing all the usual rigmarole for Arty and Ella, but for a couple of days I don’t have that invisible workload – I can put it down.
So is it any wonder that the day after I return from this vibrant, green, loving place I feel a little down? I guess not.