South Africa: Finding the 'Ordinary Magic' That Made Me Resilient


When I was 14 years old I had to stop being a child. What could prepare me for that day? Nothing. Yet, somehow, deep within me, I was prepared - whether I felt like it at the time or not.

Whenever I heard the word "resilience", it would make me think of those little plants pushing through concrete - you know, those unexpected shoots of life bringing joy in even the most hostile of places. But, not once, did I ever stop to think about how they came to be there - what made them thrive when others failed to take root?

Then I was approached by the DG Murray Trust (DGMT) to write this essay and resilience was all I could think about - what it means, where it comes from, did I have it? Having overcome some challenging circumstances in my life, I was fairly confident I could call myself resilient; trying to work out how and why we come to be resilient was a whole other story.

To help me on my way, my writing mentor for this article, Sue Segar, introduced me to the term "ordinary magic", which I liked straight away. As a photographer, my...

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