Recently we travelled to the Garden Route in the Western Cape. We had the privilege of visiting a 120 yr old Woodcutter’s cottage on a farm outside of Sedgefield. The couple has been living there for 40 years. Their son came back from the UK at the start of our South African lockdown (March 2020) and realised that his parents failing health meant that they would need to be relocated.
The elderly gentleman and lady have been living in this cottage for most of their lives with no running water, they rely on rainwater and in the more recent years, electricity has been provided to their farm. The farm is 8ha in total of which 2ha has electrified fencing for when they had boerboels (dogs) and needed to keep them in the boundary. They have a spring on the farm that supplies a local nearby dam and a veggie garden which they are no longer able to maintain. The hand implements are all neatly stacked in the tool shed gathering dust.
This story has stuck with me over the last week as I appreciate all the luxuries of modern life and come to terms with the ageing generation and the stories they have to share. Are we curious enough to connect with our elders and learn more about their lives or will these stories be forgotten?