My father taught me to always find North when getting to a new place. That way, he said, you would never get lost. He found his Way twenty-two years ago and doesn’t need the stars for direction anymore.
Me, on the other hand, still search for my North when arriving in a new town or city. Here it isn’t challenging at all, but I must confess that, when we lived or travelled abroad, I struggled to find it.
We lived in Egypt for a while and travelled to the Middle East and Europe and when I looked up at the night sky and didn’t see the Southern Cross in the Northern Hemisphere, I felt a bit lost. My inner compass just couldn’t find its North. Everything felt backwards and upside down. And it didn’t help that the Nile of the Bible flowed in the ‘wrong’ direction.
In Egypt I made East and West my goal. My husband, Deon, and I got lost while going for a walk on our second day in Cairo. We eventually saw the setting sun between the high buildings and followed it, because we knew that that was where the Nile was. In Cairo the Nile became my North – even though it was always East or West from where we were coming from or going to.
Tonight, when our son, Michael, walked to his cottage, he knocked on the window and called me to have a look at the stars. And there the Milky Way hovered in the load shedding darkness over our town with the Southern Cross reminding me – we are home.
© 2022 Fielies De Kock
Wife. Mom. Writer. Living in Hermanus in the Overberg, South Africa, with her husband, son and two dogs. Author of Yeovangya’s Quest, a children’s chapter book, and a few short reads, and co-author of a 125 Creative Writing Prompts for Petrolheads with her content writer son.