Thanks for the messages of support and suggestions. We don’t have the same tenant’s rights or protections you have overseas. My landlord can find someone else to rent tomorrow and I will battle to find anywhere here to live with decent security. He is able to evict me on one month’s notice or raise the rent as much as he likes.
I entered into an informal arrangement to buy this house some years back — because I wasn’t a South African citizen, I couldn’t get a bank loan. He reneged on our verbal agreement. There is nothing to be done — it has to be accepted.
I am just taking it day by day. The surveyor came around and measured up the back area. Drinking will resolve nothing and there is no desire to drink, but I expect a great deal of heartache in the months to come. A learning curve. My housemate is very upset and feels helpless — she has to deal with a knee replacement op in March and I want us to stay here until she is better. Then we might see if there is anywhere we can find — no, there won’t be a garden, but somewhere safe with a fenced area for the dogs.
It is strange but something I have noticed before — my heart literally hurts in my chest as I go around watering plants and do household chores. And yet as I move around, I do know in my core that I created a rewilding haven for a few years, was able to spare a few creatures and plant trees, create thickets for birds to nest, a sanctuary, a fruitful wilderness. That may be all any of us are able to do in this brief life, in this brutal nature-hating culture.
The lines from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins come back to me in this hard time:
Spring and Fall: to a Young Child
Margaret, are you grieving