A few weeks ago, Sophie was flying home to Poland from Sweden, and she started a conversation with a couple in the airport. It turned out that they were going the same way, and after some conversation a friendship was sparked. Peter and Shira quickly became close friends to us both, and it was a privilege and a great benefit to us that we could spend some time together while they settled in to their new home. We were able to be helpful to them, and the quiet openness, humility, and love that they shared with us made us more positive, humble, and open people in turn. They have a way of describing the world that feels unfamiliar. Not different in any crucial way, but from a radically different perspective. To them, kindness and openness to others is natural, and the positive energy it creates brings more kindness and openness along the way. Though I couldn’t explain a mechanism, I am starting to think they are right. Choosing to see the best in very one and everything certainly brings more positive experiences and opportunities into our lives.
Our time in Cape Town could not have been more perfect. Feeling surprisingly well fed and well rested after our flight, we picked up the car that had been arranged for us and drove into the summer, toward Table Mountain, to the oldest wine estate in South Africa.
The Hope of Constantia couldn’t be better placed, with views to the ocean, vineyards all around, and the mountains as a back garden. The house itself is a colonial gem, with high ceilings, huge windows, perfectly eclectic antique furniture, and plenty of space for the breeze.
Our hosts, who we had never met, welcomed us like old friends. A sunset swim in the reservoir, food and wine beyond description, and the pleasure of an evening’s conversation with such interesting, intelligent, and giving people – we had landed in paradise. A wonderful night in such luxury left us well rested, and we set off for a walk up table mountain. Our hosts were so thoughtful and giving that we wanted for nothing. Before we could imagine anything more perfect, it was done. Sandwiches, maps, books, and a description of every detail left us with nothing to do but enjoy ourselves.
We walked through the botanical gardens and up Skeleton Gorge, up to Maclear’s Beacon, around the plateau and down to the reservoir, then down Nursery Ravine and back through the gardens. We took our time, enjoyed the scenery, and got back to our car in late in the afternoon.
Such a warm welcome was humbling and invigorating. Whenever I see kindness I remember how much hope there is for the world. People are the problem, but also a fantastic solution. Kindness, openness, accepting and loving people – this is the best way to live. As our fantastic hostess said, no matter how fortunate or unfortunate we are, we are never more than caretakers of anything we have. Everything is a privilege, and nothing is a right. With such an attitude positivity comes naturally. Positivity, no righteousness, no entitlement, and a better relationship with everybody. And that makes all of us happy.