Continuing to diverge from the stereotype will be the non-christians, the majority, participating in a media fed and culture induced religious celebration that has little to do with faith but more expectation from those around them.
Don’t think me jaded. Admittedly, i’m ‘areligious’, non-religious and ‘critic-religious…not sacrilegious. Imagining kids riding new bicycles or hugging a stuffed toy brings a smile to my face. Families spending time together, such a rarity nowadays, is wonderful. It’s a day, no matter how polar opposite opinion may be, that inserts a positive energy into our town. In these challenging times, i have to love that emotional relief and remember to share that with all religions.
On a personal level, it’s a wonderful day too…and has been almost every year for the past decade. It’s a day with less pressure. There are no meetings and, if my internet were turned on, no business emails. The phone is quiet. In fact, the neighbourhood is quiet as if large family gatherings are being held everywhere except here.
It’s a day conducive to clear thought, a generation of ideas, a formulation of plans and a ride through a backlog of work that i meant do months ago.
I began at 6am which was the latest awakening this week. My landladies are on holiday in Zambia so i started by feeding Flip the border collie and Mia the fluffy cat. He got a good ear rub and she a good stroking. Flip then took me for a walk, his muscles primal as he continuously strained at the leash, panting hard from the exertion, louder than my own battles for oxygen as my fear imagined the collar snapping and him running into trouble.
Safely back home, i crapped and showered myself in preparation for productivity at my desk which i went to with a cup of black tea in hand.
By 9am i’d completed the disturbing Broken Blue Line (a 30-page, report on police crimes by South African Race Relations) and responded to old mails which will remain stuck in my Outbox until i load a data bundle and MTN, the cellphone company, figures out what’s wrong with the tower. Normally, some anger would disturb me at the thought of rich MTN, one of the worst companies for customer service and infrastructure in South Africa, but today it doesn’t even make a blip on my emotional radar. The irony is that when post this, xmas day will be long gone – so be it.
I mopped the cottage floor well (the only way i can truly get the dust that threatens my asthma) before Flip grabbed my eyes and ears with rapid running, to and fro, from beside the lounge windows to the patio which is 90 degrees from there. I wonder if some strange bird had got him excited but instead found a ball in his mouth. Sometimes he’d drop his ball, chew toy or mini-tyre on the patio in the hope i’d play but today he’d added to his character by upping his game to get my attention. Ignoring that i would probably be supporting future bad behaviour, i found myself throwing the aforementioned items across the lawn in front of my landladies’ house. He doesn’t play “fetch”. He only plays “catch” and he’s remarkable at it. He’s damn quick and adroit with even odd-bouncing things. The hassle is that he’ll never bring it back to me. He prefers to be chased. Even like’s hide-and-seek behind one of the alien, syringa trees; him one side, me on the other in a pouncing stance akin to a sumo wrestler…
Part 2 here…