Friday, 21 September 2012

African Flower Chain: Link 24 - Final Flower

Back in Pretoria. 

Before we started I knew I wanted to put the last flower at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
 When my husband and I first got married 21 years ago, we lived in a small apartment in the bottom of the Union Building's garden. We lived in a building which was used to house the people working on the construction of the Union Building - before 1910.  It consisted of 8 one-bedroom apartments. It was in the days before cell phones and we had a ticky-box (pay phone) in the stairwell, which was right outside our window.  We all used it as our home phone and whenever it rang (especially late at night) we had to get up, answer the phone and then go and call who-ever the call was for. We could hear all the conversations going on in the stairwell and knew exactly what was going on in all the other tenants lives!
Sadly the building does not exist anymore. But the memories do.

I made 30 flowers and the plan was to plant one every day. In the end things didn't work out exactly as planned.  Some days passed without any flowers being planted and on other days I planted more than one flower.  I tried to only plant flowers in places which 'felt right'. I had all sorts of 'rules' I made for myself before I started, like I would not plant it in commercial places like shops and malls or on private property, and I would plant one everyday, etc.  

In the end, the chain - like life - took on it's own path.  There were places where I thought I would like a flower, like in Namaqualand, but it rained so much we couldn't go where we wanted to. There were other places where I never meant to plant one, which just felt right. A few of them are in commercial places and a few are on private property. Because that is where they are meant to be.

I planted 24 flowers on route.  While we were in Reebok with our friends form Dubai, I gave one flower to my friend Kine.  She has a special place she wants to plant it and one day she might want to share that with us. Or not. 
That meant I had 5 flowers left, which I tied into a garland and attached to a lamppost in front of the Union Buildings.

The chain is now complete.

We traveled for 28 days over 6800km's.  We passed through all 9 provinces of South Africa. We saw beautiful places, met wonderfully warm and friendly people and fell in love with South Africa all over again.

South Africa is still the country of our hearts.

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