Monday, September 16, 2013

Appreciating the Everyday - Week in The Life 2013

I wanted to share today, my thoughts on the importance of documenting the everyday.


Because it is important.  Because, you have  no idea, from one day to the next, from one minute to the next, what is going to change.  You never think the 'bad stuff' is going to happen to you.  It always happens to other people.  Always.

Until it does happen to you.

Last week I participated in Ali Edwards Week in the Life 2013.  I ummhed and aahed about it, was our story really worth documenting?  Did i really need to take pics of us eating breaking, the animals on the farm, the flowers in my garden, the laundry on my line?  Does anyone really care?  Do they?  Are my children going to look back through my albums one day and really care about what they had for breakfast 10 years ago?

Will they?

But now, it doesn't really matter.  Because now I know, again, just how important it is to document the everyday, because you never know when it may all come crumbling down.

We are sheep and cattle farms in a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.  Stutterheim in the town's name.  It is made up mainly of farmers - dairy, sheep, cattle and agricultural farmers.  It's a very small town.  A few grocery stores and one robot (traffic light).  The time of year is a horrific time for us.  The farms are dry, the grass is short and there is no water.  We are a summer rainfall region, so by the end of Aug (the end of our winter) we are desperate for rain.  So this time of year is fire season.  And this time of year the wind howls.  It just blows and blows and blows.  And never stops.  The sky is always a haze of smoke, there is always a fire somewhere.

Yesterday that fire was on one of our two farms.  Luckily, the bottom farm.  The one that we use solely for grazing.  We don't live there.  Thank the Lord.

Because yesterday that farm was wiped out.  Completely and utterly burn't to cinders.  I cannot begin to tell you the despair one feels watching the flames jumping and licking at the heels of the flame in front of it.  Not letting up.  Raging ahead.  Not even a river able to stop it.

It was a horrific day.  Our whole community (and more) joined together to fight the fire.  To beat it out.  To spray flame repellant on the flames.  It was a mammoth job.  Luckily my husband foresaw that the fire was headed our way, and managed to move all his stock up to our Home farm.  Thank the Lord.  Thank the Lord the wind direction eventually changed and the fire started burning back on itself.  Thank the Lord we had the help we did.  Because without it, i'm not sure if I would be here this morning, documenting the everyday.

If there was one thing I learn't from yesterday (aside from the fact that God never lets us down) is that the everyday is important.  From the mundane to the magnificent.  It is all worth capturing.

Because you never know when it may not be there anymore.

My view of the smoke from our Home Farm
In the car, right beside the fire, on our adjoining farm
Burning right in the valley
The chopper assisting with buckets of water

Some of the stock from the adjoining farm, moved onto our Home Farm
Still burning at 9pm
And still a few stumps burning at 8am the following morning
An entire farm, burn't to cinders
These photo's don't really show the devastation as it actually is
A month before the fire


cat said...

Oh gosh my friend - looks terrible, Keeping you all in my prayers today

Cathy Sanders said...

The everyday just seems to get lost in the details... seeing your struggle with the fire and remembering my Dad's sudden death last year, sure puts those everyday moments into perspective. Thanks for the reminder once again.

allie. said...

Oh Shayne! That is so sad, so terrifying!
I don't think any of us, the towns people, can imagine what that must be like for you.
And now I see on FB that the fire has freshened up again!
Our prayers are with you and your family . . . may God preserve you, your stock and your land. said...

Oh, so sorry to read this. Praying for you.

I'm so not a blogger said...

Far far too hectic. Just thank God that you are all safe. xxx

Julia said...

Am very fearful of fire. So happy that you are all safe. xoxo

Karen Du Toit said...

Sorry to hear, Shayne. Glad you are okay!

So sad to see the veld like that!

Lynette said...

This is so sad. Seeing the damage is so much worse than just hearing about it. I am thankful to the Lord that He shifted the wind and that it stopped.

Betty Bake said...

wow - I almost starting crying reading this! thank goodness you and tour family are ok!
so sorry about your land.

giant hugs and prayer
Betty Bake