On Disappointment and Joy

(Click on small picture to open gallery and see larger photos)

Friday is my blog day. I have a general plan about where I will go and what I will photograph, but I never know what exactly I will see. It is a bit like a child opening a Christmas present. He knows there is a package, wrapped up, he may even think he  knows what is inside the package – but until the package is actually opened he has no idea of the contents.

So it is also with my blog day. I look forward to Fridays for that very reason – never knowing exactly what I will see and experience. This Friday was no exception.

The plan was to photograph the 3 Windmills in Cape Town. Mostert’s Mill in Rosebank, Nieuwe Molen Mill in the grounds of the Alexandra hospital and the Onze Molen mill in Durbanville.

Disappointment sets in:

Some would say that one should not look forward too much to something for fear of disappointment. I started my research on the text part of my blog on the 3 mills only to discover that access to the mill in the Alexandra Hospital grounds is not allowed and Mostert’s Mill is only open on Saturdays. Since I have a studio photo-shoot on Saturday mid morning, that effectively put paid to my plans. I was very deflated. I remarked to my wife that I felt awful, as if I had lost something very precious. The weekly blog had become that important to me!

I went to bed on Thursday night with my last waking thoughts about how I could turn this situation around.


“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” Elliott Erwitt

I woke up on Friday morning with thoughts of my parents. Then it came to me. I had been promising to take them for an outing to Spier Wine Estate for some time now and the opportunity had not yet arisen. Spier Wine Estate hosts a number of pleasures for day visitors. It is fast becoming a tourist mecca in the Western Cape. There are restaurants with excellent fare, African craft markets and other interesting things to see even if you discount the wonderful view of the surroundings. Spier also hosts “Eagle Encounters”, a Bird of Prey Rehabilitation, Education & Eco-Tourism Centre.

They do wonderful work rehabilitating sick and injured birds with a view to releasing them back into the wild. They also have a number of birds that cannot be released into the wild again, either due to the nature of their injuries, or simply because having been hand reared they would not survive for long not being able to fend for themselves. These birds are brought to them by the SPCA, Police and even members of the public. It is not legal to keep a Bird of Prey as a pet. “Eagle Encounters” is a registered organisation and is the only one of its type in the Western Cape.

Spending the day with my parents at Spier was fantastic. We got to interact with some of the birds. The birds allowed us to handle them, stroke them and I believe a moment of love was created between the bird and human. A moment that cannot be described with any success. A moment one has to experience oneself.

Seeing the expression on my father’s face while the big Spotted Eagle Owl sat on his leather gloved hand was to me such a moment. My mother’s comment “One just has to love them…”

Disappointed about not seeing the mills, yes, I was – but I found a way to turn my disappointment into something lovely. A memory that will not fade. The photograph of my dad and the owl will be framed and will have a prominent spot in our family photo display!

As Ansel Adams- a famous photographer once said:  I hope that my work will encourage self expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us. – Ansel Adams

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2 thoughts on “On Disappointment and Joy

  1. Well done on not quitting and turning the disappointment into something special and memorable. Very inspiring blog post. The photo of your Dad is a real keeper. Keep on searching for beauty, special moments and creative excitement in our wonderful Cape Town.

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