In the days leading up to our departure, we sometimes felt like the town was bidding us goodbye. The friendly neighbourhood seal, whom I hadn’t spotted for ages, swam past the night before we left, putting a bright smile on my face. The day before he’d waved flipper to the Hubs to bid him farewell, too.
Those last few days were full of smiles and tears and prayers and well wishes — like life, often challenging, but sweet, and good.
Our last morning in Gordon’s Bay was a busy one. The folks moving in arrived promptly at 9 am, and we weren’t quite ready for them. We scrambled to get things together and complete some last minute errands, and finally departed the last address we’ll have in South Africa for the foreseeable future after noon.
A friend treated us to lunch and pancakes, and relaxing briefly on her couch our brains swirled in circles with all the things we’d completed, and the things we hadn’t. After lunch we needed to pass through the village again on one last errand before heading to Hermanus.
Throughout our time in Gordon’s Bay, if we were ever out after dark, we’d see this big cross, lit up and shining bright, about halfway up the mountain. During the daytime, we’d look for it, but we were never able to spot exactly where it was.
As Mr. Potato Head grumbled into the village for one last stop, for the first time ever, there we spotted the cross on the mountainside. It was as if the Lord was telling us — I was here before you, I who am and was and ever shall be, and I have always been here with you, even when you didn’t see. I will be here when you’ve gone.
Lord, bless Gordon’s Bay and watch over her.
We’ve always embarked on our day trips to Hermanus quite early in the day, and the sun shines bright on the mountains along the way. As a passenger in a right-hand drive car, I’m on the far left side of the road, and I stare out my window with them stretching skyward above me.
Mountains to the left, rocky cliffs and ocean to the right — I can’t think of a drive more beautiful than the coastal route we take to get to Hermanus.
With Gordon’s Bay in the rear view mirror, this time we were leaving in the late afternoon. The mountains were still beautiful, but different in the late afternoon sun. Their shadows stretched on ahead of us, as if they were leaning up the road, lingering as long as they could before saying goodbye.
We trust we’ll be back this way again, but only the Lord knows when. I turned to look back, through the dusty rear window of the car, and warmly stood our sweet village on the harbour, the sun’s red glow a backlight to the buildings in shadow.
I longed to turn back for just one more moment, one more sunset, one more walk with the boys. But like the water beside us that keeps on flowing — life, she keeps moving on.