I’d always dreamt of something more, more than the hum and buzz of the city-machine, more than the endless waiting in traffic, waiting for approval, waiting for payday for building someone else’s dream, waiting for Friday, waiting in lines, waiting for my time, waiting, waiting, waiting for life. The life I wanted.

Patience is a virtue, but there comes a time to stop waiting and to go searching. You can’t have the life you want, if you don’t go out to get it. The mountain wasn’t coming to me, it was out there somewhere and I needed to go find it. I was tired of waiting. I needed my own mountain. And it was coming up, just over the horizon.

I remember, the sun was rising, throwing sparkling diamonds onto the road that lay before us. I think I slept most of the way there. I shouldn’t have stayed out so late. I knew we had this early morning journey. The beetle engine purred loudly as we navigated the last stretch of the N2 into Swellendam. The country air was hissing in through the car window in fresh, razor sharp breaths, cutting right through the sleepy cobwebs fastening me to my city mind-state. Alex said that he’d take us into town via the scenic route, to see the sun come up over the mountain. That’s something Alex and I have always based our friendship on, the scenic route, that and never taking the same route back. Always a new path. Always a new landscape. That long weekend’s memories are now faded and vague, but there is one that still glistens brightly. Standing in Andrew’s vegetable garden in the autumn morning, under that majestic mountain, swallowed by a sudden knowing, picking heads of lettuce and putting them into bags for delivery to the local restaurants. I can remember my overflowing heart. I remember turning to Alex and saying “This is what I want dude. I want this life… everyday”.

That weekend marked the start of a new journey, a new mountain, our own mountain and a lot has happened along the trail that we set off on then. Some people have left the path and some others have joined. The trail we follow winds up the hills and leads down into valleys, ever changing, sometimes so effortlessly easy, sometimes so scarily arduous, often precarious and exhilarating. But always it goes onward… through this breathtaking landscape.

So here we are then, still on the scenic route…and we’re not going back the way we came.

Sunrise Swellendam Beetle 2004