Column: The adulterous editor

“Old love never dies and a first love will never be forgotten.”

“Forbidden fruit always tastes better.”

“The grass traditionally seems greener on the other side.”

“Married couples have to watch out for the seven-year itch.”

“Being married to more than one person is called polygamy and being married to one only is called monotony.”

Wise cracks like these at the cost of marriage, love and faithfulness are as many as the sand of the Namib.

My recent career path and taking over as editor of Hazyview Herald again, involuntarily made me think of these sayings.

For what other reason did I leave the Lowveld four years ago than to cherish and reunite with my first love? That one that never died? Memories of which provided the stuff for many dreams and thoughts that had me lying awake endless nights?

It really was a longing almost as unbearable as an itch that made me decide to leave here and travel nearly 2 000 kilometres to reunite with that love again. After all, it was exactly seven years since I made the previous change and monotony started to set in…

The only difference was that I knew that the grass would not be greener on the other side. In fact, it was the yellowness of dry grass, the harsh greyness of granite koppies, the redness of Omaheke dunes and the sunbleached dryness of Swarthaak and Wag ‘n Bietjie bush that lured me to that love. Away from the lush green Lowveld, perennial rivers and extravagant summer colours.

I would lie if I pretended that the forbidden fruit of the new life didn’t taste very, very good. The days were filled with excitement, the weekends were pure bliss. Discovering old favourite places and laughing about childhood memories.

Those memories were abundant. Created while growing up on a faraway farm, it was wonderful to be able to spend time on that very same farm again. To reunite with primary school friends on the very playgrounds we used to laugh and cry and hurt.

So, four years swept by in a haze of happiness. Then, a few months ago, the realisation dawned on me that time was up. I was privileged to live and work in my beloved country of birth, Namibia, again, but it was time to return to reality.

After all, the grass really is greener on this side. And, as a friend mentioned during her goodbyes, the sand of the Omaheke and Namib will always be there to visit again.

In the Lowveld I was welcomed back with open arms and quickly forgiven too. To such an extent that even the White River Post and Hazyview Herald deemed me fit to edit them again.

This challenge I take on with both hands. After all, through all these adventures I had a loving husband who stayed close to my side.

With his continuous support, we will not only change any possible monotony into more adventures, we will also cherish the green Lowveld grass and the not-so-forbidden fruits of this valley more than ever before.

Mariana Balt

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