I must confess to mixed feelings now.
It has taken some time to get to this point. Nearly twenty years in fact.
This has been quite a sudden realisation; not so long ago I wrote a poem about returning my spirit to Africa, where I grew up and where 10 generations of ancestors are buried:
Like a boomerang, we go forwards to go back
to our hearts home where our mum’s wombs rest.
From light to dark and smooth to shoddy.
People simple but direct, not so friendly.
But it’s the home of our heart and soul,
darker Africa, so far and so near.
The warm people now despondent
about unrealised comforts, leached away by lazy overlords,
Maybe blamed on us, who give, build and take.
Where I die, twirl a thorn twig,
catch my ghost and take it home,
like a boomerang, back from where we came,
to the bosom of the family we left.
Then maybe I will rest.
Now our near family is here, not there. Without a doubt, feelings are mixed.
But now I feel as if I am leaving home, not going home.
I am happy and sad.
(The picture is a twig from the Umlahlankosi tree that can be used to carry the spirit of the deceased from the place of death to a new resting place).