On a day like today where we celebrate our heritage, so many thoughts run through my head. I see the hooded commando and oxcarts, the Drummedaris, the Heron and Good Hope. I hear “In the sun glow of our summer, in our winter night’s chew” and how Jopie Fourie’s Afrikaner heart beats. I feel the breeze blowing in the church square and stand at Uncle Paul’s feet. I hear the story of Wolraad Woltemade again and softly sing “My Sarie Marais”.
I cry again about the scorched earth policy but stand proudly next to our barefoot woman. Just for a while I see the Orange Free State and the Transvaal before I get lost in the excellence of Afrikaner institutions like the FAK and the ATKV, or as Eloff will sing: “Summer vacation by the sea”. I feel again, and now more than ever, how my heart beats for the Bokke to bring the cup home and I climb the steps of the Voortrekker Monument.
With these thoughts still flying like sparks about events full of splendor, hope, sadness and devotion to a people, I walk through a wheat field planted by one of our farmers and place a wreath on his grave, while I beg the Lord for us to protect the country’s farmers from the evil that walks in the night. Then thoughts of hope flash through me and I see capers and hear Aunt Laurika again in my ear: “From Hanover I bring caper seeds, from the garden of no. 3 Darling Street”.
My mind still wanders calmly through my heritage and land around a barbecue fire where we share hunting stories while tasting our local wine. Suddenly I feel the strange softness of a small sheep’s door again and see how the cattle come piece by piece to the pen on grandfather’s farm. I taste milk tarts and cookies, I load my father’s gun and go looking for a kudu in the field. I sink into our beautiful language’s rich words, and I laugh again at Leon Schuster’s anecdotes and remain loyal to my homeland.
I stand still for a bit and admire the establishment of the Solidarity Movement while I can’t help but wonder what the legacy I will leave behind will look like. Will I also have a profound influence on history? Will my generation and the one after that also build as we are building now?
This question wakes me up from my daydream and I sit in silence on my living room couch. I ask myself what is the inheritance I received from Solidarity Helping Hand? I quickly answered myself: “Well, I feel like the richest woman on earth, because I received a deep-rooted vocation as an inheritance. Everyone who was here before me left me a platform to build on, a space where I can grow by giving of myself.”
We live in a country where it is so necessary to reach out to your community, where tradition, language and culture must be preserved. Yes, on a day like today we look back at our leaders and mentors, at events that planted sadness but others that once again sowed hope. It is a reminder of the past and a glimpse of the beautiful future. On a day like today I celebrate my culture, my language, the past and the future, my personal heritage, the heritage that my father also left for me and the heritage that my Creator offers me. “The measuring tapes have fallen in lovely places for me, yes, my heritage is beautiful to me.” (Psalm 16:6 AFR53) Thank you, Lord, that the measure line that You offer us has an infinite location.
I am raising my daughter with a deep understanding of her heritage. Die Weet (an e-reference guide for learners – an online encyclopedia for schoolwork) from RNews explains it so beautifully for our children: “A folk tale originates in the folk (among a certain group of people) and it is passed down from generation to generation. In this way, such a story remains alive for a very long time – even for centuries.”
May I and my generation leave a legacy in which other’s thoughts can walk just like mine today. May we inspire and preserve, but more than anything else, fellow millennials, may we build!
- Visit www.helpendehand.co.za and become part of our heritage.
- René Roux is a deputy CEO of Solidarity Helping Hand.