I woke yesterday morning and looked up. The roof above my head had not fallen in, the sky, as Chicken Little would have said, had not fallen down.

Worker’s Day, May 1, and this man had just joined the ranks of the workers. Day One of my new life as an independent consultant. There was a thoughtful email waiting for me, from Mark from PA – Subject: Big Day Tomorrow, message: wishing me well upon the ‘ocean of opportunity’.

Some people sail oceans, some people drown in them!

I jest. But my final few days as an employee have been intense, in several dimensions; three days away at Leopard’s Lodge, high up against the cliff face of the Magaliesberg, with magical views over Hartebeespoort Dam, engaging with the rest of the Management Team on organisational strategy and unit plans; some hard talk, but honest, amongst the team as we confronted various ‘difficulties’ (viewer discretion advised); and an emotional but gratifying moment or two on Thursday as the Management Team bade me goodbye. Generous words from the CEO, to which I responded, over dinner, with some deeply felt remarks, best captured perhaps in my closing comment, that I have been deeply enriched by the years I have worked for the organisation. All true.

And then it was all over. I drove home, alone, in the gathering darkness, with an unaccustomed lightness in my soul. It was a good going, I thought; it was a good beginning.