“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you”
Only when you yourself are faced with an experience that fully embodies these words does the true meaning really pierce your being. When we are born, we are given names by our parents that generally mean something to them. Very seldom does that name carry out it’s meaning in the most profound manner. Unlikely paths of human beings weave and meander their way into the lives of others in ways we cannot ever envisage and when they do, they leave a lasting footprint embedded deep in your heart.
I will never… ever forget this man. What he did for me is an act of humanness that I could never, not in my entire lifetime, ever repay in a way that I deem fitting. He saved me from a lifetime of instantaneous depression. As is necessary, every South African citizen needs an ID. Recently having applied for one for my 17 year old daughter, it was time to go collect her Smart ID Card from Home Affairs. After two entertaining hours of waiting to collect her card, she was able to proudly hold her identity card in her hands for the very first time. On route to my car, I routinely scratch in my handbag in search of my keys so that I have them before I get to the vehicle. No keys. Scratch again. Nothing. Just about climb into my bag head first. Definitely no car keys. Check pockets. Nothing. Blood drains slowly from my face as a frightening panic sets in. My car keys had vanished as if by sorcery because I knew I had put them in my bag. I race back inside the Home Affairs building, check under the chair I was sitting on. Nope. Ask at the Information Desk if any keys were handed in, “Sorry Ma’am”. I was absolutely limp from dread, paralysed by not knowing what I should do next. I was out of possibilities so I did the only logical thing I could think of by making my way back to my car with the intention to call my husband who was in a meeting on the other side of town so that he could only help me hours later.
As I walked past the entrance of the building for the third time, a gentle voice called out, “Can I help you Ma’am?” It sounded more like “I can help you Ma’am” but I was in a daze of hopelessness so I can’t be sure. I turned to where the voice came from with my shoulders almost kissing the pavement as I tearfully mumbled, “I’ve lost my car keys”. “Come”, was all he said and I had no choice but to obey and follow, what did I have to lose that I hadn’t already and as I walked I thought, “Yes sure, he’s going to magically make my car keys appear from nowhere, this is Africa for God’s sake!”. He took me to his bag, his sidewalk office, reached in and pulled my car keys from them, like an African Mary-Frikken-Poppins! By nature of my grateful instinct I launched myself at him and flung my arms around him as pavement life in Krugersdorp came to a standstill. I burst into tears as I asked, “Where did you find them??” He explained that I had dropped my keys not far from my car when I thought I had put them in my handbag. I could not believe it. I promised him that I would come back the next day to extend my immeasurable gratitude as I did not have anything with me that day. I kept my promise and returned the next day to gift him with something small. His facial expression when I presented him with my gratitude was beyond what words could piece together, almost as if he did not believe that I would be back.
I can never compensate this man the way I would like to. No monetary value could ever come close to what I stood to lose. Ever. Why? Because my camera and my laptop was in the boot of my car with my hard drive and my entire life full of photographs. He held my life’s passion in his hands and he chose to give that back to me. His name is Nicholas and he, dear humans is a real-life saint.
How I see it...
I see, speak and write in metaphors because I feel there is much we can learn from nature, people and our surroundings as depicted in my photographs and why I enjoy sharing my thoughts. Not in any attempt to convince or convert you to my way of thinking, seeing or feeling but to share how I see and experience MY mind map of the world. You at no time have to agree, all I ask is that my views and the views of others who wish to express theirs are kindly respected. So relax, get comfy and just enjoy. Happy reading!