nine o'clock this morning and i was lurking in my door way. why was i lurking?
well ... i never get dressed before i shower. i never shower in cold or even luke warm water.
my hot water comes via the same amazing, energy saving, underground heating source as does my heating. for some reason this very green, supposedly energy saving, underground heating source ... whilst working most efficiently (if left running at all times) uses an incredible amount of electricity to actually pump previously mentioned hot water into my home.
result ... unless i need a shower or i am in danger of freezing to death ... i switch the whole damn system off. when i wake up of a morning, i switch the pump back on and voila! two or three hours later i have hot water. if i wake up late, my life is delayed! my neighbours are up and about. now i am really very fond of my mulberry coloured pyjamas, with the cute penguins in snow hats and snow flakes falling, but ...
quite frankly, i have seen one of my neighbours scrubbing her front step at six thirty in the morning! the scots are a hard working folk. i have no real need for my pyjama clad self to be seen, unwashed and unkempt, smoking on my verandah at nine o'clock in the morning. so ... i lurk!
i awoke this morning to a fine ayrshire mizzle. drifting on the breeze, soft as the touch of a butterfly's wing.
i do believe the long dark is fading, there is more light, earlier and later. another winter, winding down.
driving back from saltcoats yesterday i noticed freshly ploughed fields, tractors aplenty and the men who work the land preparing the fields for the spring planting. soon enough... ayrshire tatties will sprout and grow and the first tender green shoots of wheat will break through the crusty brown earth.
wild flowers will colour the countryside, a thousand different greens will ooze across the hills, in contrast, the gorse will sneeze a yellow brightness.
the long dark ... a winter experience. a time of waiting and learning. the long dark ... the place, the time where spring waits and grows.
are we born to work and scheme and ensure an ever upward career path?
are we born to pursue an ever larger tv screen, a really huge fridge with an ice dispenser, a car which can exceed, by far, the legal speed limit?
are we born to reside in a home too large, in the best neighbourhood?
are we born to dine in the very best restaurants and savour the most expensive wines?
are we born to exercise and diet in an effort to maintain our perfect body?
are we born to slave away to pay for face lifts and botox treatments in our mature years?
are we born to grow old and die with the perfect pension plan in place?
this is the reason for our existence?? ...you think?
we are born to work and spend and pay taxes when we have to??
give me a break! there has to be more to life!
true enough ... some of us will live a sumptuous life and die with the perfect pension plan. we might well be nipped and tucked and exercised into our most desirable shape. we might grow older without frown lines and daily thank Clostridium botulinum for our serene visage. how wonderful if this is your desire and your life path provides ...
but ... life is a lot less complicated than we might ever imagine. we need a lot less than we think we do!
we may stride through our life or we may merely muddle through. does it matter? i believe not! we each have our destiny, we have many paths to chose from. each choice we make offers us a new life experience, a new lesson offered. will we take the time to notice, to contemplate, to learn? or ... will we curse the fates and grasp bitterness and negativity to our hearts?
if we craved a little less, if we were a little more easily satisfied ... we might well have to work a little less ... which would give us more time.
time to be still, time to watch and listen. time to appreciate the wonders which surround us.
time to listen to a child or an older person. time to learn from their innocence and their wisdom.
time to remember all the small acts of kindness, the loving touches, the concern and care shown to us by others.
time to reach out and offer our particular gifts to those who have need.
no really ... hot damn i only have to put my nomadic feet on african soil and ... it starts snowing ... where i would have been ... if i was not here ...
not to worry, i dare say i will "get over it" ... the snow envy, maybe ...
i am having a wonderful time in the old home country. it is summer, the sun shines, the birds sing and my face grows browner by the day. no more british palor for this girl. well, not on my face anyway. the rest of me remains super white!
this past week peter saddled up and took his aging mama on a road trip. a veritible journey into the past. a time of renewing the family connection. pure bliss for mama, the dear boy handled himself impeccably! we visited, we embraced, we stayed, i drank an ocean of coffee and peter imbibed enough coca cola to fill loch lomond! i looked into the eyes of my dear siblings, those wonderful souls who have been with me from my first memories. i have hugged and been hugged, i have cried and talked, shared news and memories, caught up on the comings and goings of the next generation and their offspring.
my youngest and i visited the botanical gardens in my old home town, pietermaritzburg. the morning dew, still thick on the grass, soaked through our shoes as we made our way to 'the place'. 'the place' is a grand old camphor tree. beneath the spredding branches, in memory of my beloved mann is a memorial bench. we sat and remembered the good times, we held tight and felt our loss as sharp and painful as the day we lost him. does time help, does it dull the pain of remembering? perhaps we have no wish to forget the beloved mann who lived and loved and enriched our lives.
yesterday we returned to joburg, happy to escape the excessive heat and humidity of kwazulu natal. we were welcomed home with the kind of storm i adore, a ferocious downpour, flooding the streets and turning roads into raging rivers! these storms do tend to slow down the traffic a little but ... i was a passenger and free to enjoy this wild, wonderous, wet, african bounty.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"There are too many people, and too few human beings." Robert Zend
"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces."