Text by Barry Greville-Eyres
Once upon a time whilst muddling and muttering through this life I received an arrow shot and very timely reminder of what I once was. This struck rawly at time-numbed and travel-wearied nerve endings but has been an enduring epiphany ever since.
I also recall that in a port city, in the very small Kingdom of Our South Africa, there are priceless treasures hoarded away in the smallest of boxes within many other, bigger boxes. One wonders whether they have survived the passage of time and pilferage. These treasures are odes to those at the very centre of this kingdom and for the very fear that they will never be told or retold enough, as they richly and deservedly should; there is no better time than now to share these stories and expressions of love and gratitude towards my family – both to my partner and wife for the better part of my life and our children.
Throughout this and rough and tumble rule, countless gifts were bestowed upon this undeserving King. Most were at the hand of his gracious Queen..... some were immediate whereas others were time-lapsed and often not fully realized or appreciated. They included unwavering support; rude career and directional nudges; incredible patience; much self-sacrifice and a priceless family.
The heirs rode handsomely on his knees, back and shoulders; waltzed cocooned in his arms; juggled and caught countless balls with relentless monotony and blazed, with same intensity, many walking trails throughout his and other kingdoms in faraway lands.
Once, as a husband, parent, confidant and imperfect ruler he was at the centre of their universe. He was touched and re-touched by their love, energy and adoration but now, alone, exiled to troubled lands and with wonky knees, wizened features he desperately longs for that ‘touch’ again and harbors secret and irrational fears that he has already had, that last touch!