A Return to the Valley

Diepgat Cottage, 12 June 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

Two years ago, I revisited the Babilonstoringberge1 valley, where I spent two idyllic years of my childhood with my family. During that visit2, the sight of the much-altered labourer’s cottage, in which we lived at the time, was too much to bear and I did not photograph it. Yesterday, I returned there again and did.

To my surprise, I discovered that the original structure was left mostly intact, its face concealed by an addition of equal size to the front. At both sides of the building, a seam where the two sections join is visible. Doubtlessly, the new section was added to the front for lack of space at the back where a ditch runs3.

This development was comforting: not all of the past was lost—unlike the two-classroom building where I was under my schoolteacher mother’s tuition for two standards, destroyed by a fire, years later. Indeed, from the field behind the cottage, the scene was almost unchanged. I was pleased I returned to the valley.

Diepgat Cottage, 12 June 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.Diepgat Cottage, 12 June 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.Diepgat Cottage, 12 June 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

  1. Pronounced [bubbylons-tweRings-beRguh] with the [o] in “or”, the first [e] that in “were”, [i] the “a” in “about”, the second [e] that in “wet”, trilled [R]s and the [g] in “go”). Afrikaans for “Babel’s-tower-mountains”.
  2. Which I briefly describe in the “I visited the past” section of “This November”.
  3. I have fond memories of that quiet little stream, recalling the dragonflies I used to watch there in the poem “Of a Summertime” (unpublished).

One thought on “A Return to the Valley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s