This might seem like an odd choice for my final post of 2021 – it should be my monthly roundup of garden birds, but that requires more time and energy than I have right now. During the course of tidying up before Christmas, we gathered all the keys and locks that have accumulated in drawers, bags, on shelves and in boxes over the years.
They strike me as being fairly symbolic of years past. Some keys probably hark back to our years of living in the then Natal, Bophuthatswana and our early years here in the Eastern Cape. There are keys to vehicles we no longer own, to locks we no longer have, and to who-knows-what that we can no longer remember. There are locks sans keys and labels we can no longer read.
Each represents a need to keep some things or people safe – conversely they represent the freedom for people to get in and out of places as they choose. Among them is the spare key for a friend’s house from so long ago that I think they may have changed the locks in the interim – I will return it when next I visit her. There are spare keys to the homes of our children – at least one bunch is no longer relevant and we have handed it over to the new owners of the house next door.
Keys can represent independence – something we have been lacking full control of during the course of this pandemic. Our government has scrapped night time curfews for the first time since March 2020. From tonight people will be able to paint the town red for as long as they like – as long as they don’t drink alcohol on our beaches.
I hope that my readers will take up the keys of their future – don’t burden yourself with resolutions that cannot be kept as the year unfolds – to open up possibilities you have longed for; to realise a dream that has had to stay on the back burner because of the pandemic-induced restrictions; and that – above all – you will turn the key to your hearts and open them to the people you love and care for most.
2022 simply has to be a more positive year for us all.