Rozendal Spring Fever
A friend of Rozendal, Sandra Hill describes her experience of Rozendal in the Spring. Spring fever. If that’s what it is, that’s what I’ve got. An ache, a fierce wanting of oh, I don’t know quite what. Usually when visiting Rozendal, I am utterly content. But today, today is something else.
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is.
And when you’ve got it, you want
— oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want,
but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
Today, instead of climbing the hill to the horse paddocks, I walk only as far as the vegetable garden where petals drizzle from the arms of the old pear trees, turning pathways between broad beans and crimson clover to confetti strewn aisles along which a bridal couple has surely just passed. Ah, perhaps that’s what I’m wanting? Perhaps it’s love or the promise of love I want?
From his rooftop perch Pollyrococo calls, Cocorico. If he were an English, not a a French rooster, he would Cock-a-doodle-doo. Language aside, his message is clear: Wake-up. Could that be what I’m wanting? A wake up call? Another chance?
Inside the Vinaigrerie, the vinegar bacteria heeds his call and begins to stir from their winter slumber. Tanks emptied, clutter cleared, new doors put in, floors swept clean … preparation for what’s to come. Perhaps that’s it! That shedding of detritus. That feeling of anticipation. Could that be what I’m after?
Passing their field on my way to the walled garden, two recently returned bovine sisters, Lahaina and Soleil, lift their heads from the green of their welcome-home feast to make cow eyes at each other. Perhaps it’s belonging, a sense of place, of family I’m wanting?
I sit on the bench under a pergola of purple wisteria and look around. The afternoon light is hooded now. Everything is softening. Everything is still. In the distance, the sunset has left the sky above Table Mountain blushing. I too am suddenly embarrassed. Embarrassed by my wanton wanting in the face of such a beautiful spring day. Never before have I seen a spring as beautiful as this. Never before have I seen this restless ache as the ache of delight in what is already mine for the taking. Never before. What a beautiful day.