Divine timing in this celebration of life. This celebration for life. For Nelson Mandela. For Madiba.
Can we just discuss how divine this timing has been?
A few days before getting on a plane, I asked Dan if we could go to one of Mandela’s celebrations.
His answer, “Absolutely! Hopefully, celebrations will still be going on!”
Well, here it is.
Every South African citizen was honored 5 tickets to attend the celebration of life.
The celebration of life for Nelson Mandela.
Although Dan was at work, I was in the presence of his gracious family.
Walking to the stadium, the excitement began to fill.
South African flags all about.
People dressed in shirts with the image of Africa displayed prominently proud.
Upon getting through the gates, people marched, jumped and danced excitedly toward the stairs of Green Point Stadium.
Yes, this was once the home of the infamous World Cup.
But, today, on this day, it was the home of hundreds upon hundreds of proud South Africans.
Nelson spoke of a colored nation.
A colored nation is what he fought for.
And for that fighting, a colored nation is what he received.
People of all colors, all backgrounds.
All were present.
All were proud.
After roaming about, we gladly found some seats high up in the stadium just the right angel to see the crowds
and that which was to commence on the stage throughout the evening.
Speakers came out.
Gospel choirs sung.
Contagious waves circles round and round the stadium.
Hugs were occurring each way I turned.
With all being contaminated with so much love, honor and laughter.
People were present.
People were so incredibly proud.
I sat in awe for many hours on my stadium chair.
Getting up to capture those moments that spoke loudest to my heart.
Sitting back and watching the people unite.
Reminding myself to breathe.
Yes, this is happening.
Yes, this is my reality.
Just breathe, Ashley.
At one point, I do have to admit.
The stadium broke out into their national anthem and although the words weren’t part of what was coming out of my mouth, the tears coming from my eyes did just the same.
I was present.
I was honored.
I was proud.
So proud to be a part of this moment in history.
To stand in a stadium witnessing, experiencing and expressing the potential of what
a rainbow national truly could look like.
I have studied for years.
The studying built my interest, but on that day, the studying became a reality,
with the experience speaking so loudly to my heart.
The celebration of life.
Nelson’s celebration of life is now a layer within my energy footprint.
It is now a part of me.
So deep within me.
Although I left the ceremony far before the time of it’s ending,
I knew when I walked out of there, it was just my beginning.
My second day in South Africa, I was celebrating the life of a man who changed history.
Who created a reality from one of segregation and separation to that of integration and immersion.
I am present.
I am honored.
I am proud.
Below are a few of my favorite photos from this evening of celebration,
many of which need no caption for explanation.
As always, with humble gratitude and love, please enjoy!
Until next time!