I can tell from the clouds that summer is tapering off into glorious autumn.
In summer, cotton-woolish cumulusnimbus clouds show who’s boss with thunderstorms, hail and lightning. It isn’t fun driving in these conditions because visibility reduces to almost nil, in some cases golf-ball sized hailstones seriously dent many cars.
The rain is warm, of short duration, and it’s also the time when many electrical appliances get taken out by lightning.
Despite the intensity of these storms, I will miss them during the colder months…because for as long as there’s cumulusnimbus clouds in the sky, there is summer on the ground.
I remember the comic book vendor coming to our door every week in Maputo. My grandmother or my mother would buy me 2 or 3 comic books to see me through the week. I grew up with the adventures of Asterix and Obelix, Tintin, Caspar the Friendly Ghost and the Brazilian comic book character Lulu. They were in Portuguese, and when I came to South Africa and learnt to speak English at the age of 9, I re-read these comic books all over again, this time in English. My husband still has his collection of Asterix and Obelix and Tintin; they are carefully guarded, and are still the source of much enjoyment for both of us.
I first experienced the sound of silence on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town. Before then it had just been the title of a song. Once on top of the mountain I was struck by how strange sounds seemed. Voices seemed to be muted and far away, similar to being in an office that has white sound.
And then it came to me…this is what silence must sound like. Even though there were other people present, it enveloped me, like a physical cloak. I looked down at the city and ocean far below me, teeming with movement, but no sound came up to me. It felt like watching a silent movie where the actors’ lips move, but no sound comes out.
It was so peaceful. I long to experience it again.
The Christmas decorations had barely been put away when the red hearts of Valentines Day were put on display. In January already! Now that the 14th is but a memory, barely 2 days later, the chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs already adorn the supermarket shelves. And Easter is only in April.
After Easter, barely a day later I am sure, the Mother’s Day adverts and displays will go up. In June, it will be Father’s Day. Then there is a gap of a month, and it will be Women’s Day in August, then Bosses Day in October, and Secretaries Day sometime in between. Until we come to Christmas again, and like last year, the decorations will go up in October.
In between all that are the birthdays, the baby showers, the weddings and engagements. If you factor in the cultural and religious celebrations…wow! We are having fun the whole year.
Every single day there is celebrating going on in the world.
A car guard came to my rescue one evening last week, when he saw me trying to lower my trolley from the higher kerbside to the parking area below. Like many Joburgers I tend to carry plastic and not much cash. Whenever this happens and I don’t have money to tip a car guard, I normally decline the offer of assistance. This evening, though, I allowed him to help me, visions of groceries strewn across the parking area of the local Pick and Pay running through my mind. As he closed the boot of my car, I asked him if I could show my gratitude with some apples since I didn’t have money on me. His face broke into a smile and he said, “It’s ok, if you don’t have money, you don’t have to give me anything. I helped you.”
Social Entrepreneur, chief wide eyed in wanderer, wonderer and bottlewasher