Tea. The first thought I had when my face was still squashed against the pillow, my arms bent at the elbow so that each hand rests warmly in between pillow and sheet. Useless bloody pillows my second thought. Flat and shapeless and worn and old. Need to get more. Hate shopping. Nice cup of hot sweet milky tea will get me out of bed.
That’s how I got here in the pitch dark in the freezing cold at 6.30am. Ok. It’s warm where I am now with my hot tea and all but hells bells it’s been freezing hey? And what a ton of rain! I simply LOVE the rain. All day. Isn’t it simply wonderful to watch it fall from the sky and feel the earth getting a good clean, the dams filling up?
‘What about the birds though?’ I remarked to my husband the other day that that’s what I miss with the rainy mornings. The early morning bird calls. Where do they even go when it comes down so hard? I mean it can’t be much fun hanging onto a branch getting thrown around the place with the wind whirling around them and the cold hard pelting rain falling onto their fragile feathers. ‘Water off a duck’s back.’ Knew he would say that as soon as the words were out of his mouth ‘cos I was thinking the same. Ja and cold blooded. But still it didn’t satisfy me. Oh well. I must assume they know what they’re doing when the freezing cold arrives. Some migrate of course but not all?
Quite different to what we humans are doing hey? We really don’t know what the hell we’re doing in the face of this pandemic do we? One minute we’re all in lockdown and compliant for a while and we almost get used to this ‘new normal’ and then we just get gatvol. We want to exercise at all and any time of day and the children want to get back to school and their mates and then we’re told that they’re going back soon but now we don’t want them going anywhere because frankly, it’s a little scary. Truth is many of us will probably get ill and all we’re doing is delaying this thing but who of you willingly want to take a chance? Personally, I’m happy to stay home for three or four years until they’re all finished school ‘cos I don’t have to drive them there!
I feel so for the teachers at the moment. We had our bookclub on zoom the other night and it became apparent that they have it quite tough out there. Not only are they having to upskill and e-teach but when school starts, they’re going to have to do a bit of both. Crazy stuff. And I cannot imagine a bunch of boisterous Grade 3, 4, 5 boys diligently social distancing when they’d rather rugby tackle in the corridors and pull each other’s masks off. Even the girls. They love to hug and stand close and put their arms around each other.
Yes, mine are the privileged concerns when so many are cold and hungry. Which reminds me of a brilliant blog by Darryl Bristow Bovey
I read last night of a heart -warming story in 3 acts but, in particular, I want to quote what he said here in relation to unexamined privileged which I’m gonna quote here. So well put.
I prefer to do people the courtesy of assuming they are adult enough to assume that I am adult enough to be aware of my position in the class hierarchies.
At this stage, it really just feels like a pointless superstitious ritual, a kind of verbal clove of garlic to protect you from the vampires of social media criticism: “If I acknowledge my privilege, no one will be able to accuse me of having unexamined privilege!” This seems to me a waste of time. I’m not saying the vampires of social media criticism don’t exist; I’m saying they’re not afraid of garlic.
I think about this so often when I write my blog. Or anything else for that matter. Whose right to write. And how to keep apologising.
But I wonder about the essence of human nature. I really do. Melanie Verwoerd also wrote about these two concepts we need to focus on, borrowing from Jacinda Ardern: kindness and the meaning of ‘essential’.
I’ve been on about a kinder world for a while too. And I’m not the only one.
But essentials? It’s all so relative. On my morning walks (gee, not for this whole week now come to think of it with all the rain!) I see queues of masked people getting their daily take- away coffee kitted after their ride out in all the latest cycling gear. And all the take- away food that’s being delivered since restaurants remain closed? The mass of plastic containers? I see bins overflowing with mountains of plastic and glass and all kinds of rubbish piled so high that the lid doesn’t close. And that was way before lockdown. Tons of them. It drives me flipping insane!
How much recycling are we doing in South Africa? Can someone please explain? Aren’t we needing to be kinder to the earth? I have one black bag of rubbish for our large household and the rest gets piled up until I drop it off for recycling. It piles up so quickly I feel like I’m gonna drown in it! It’s such a toss- up for me to sometimes just gooi it into the empty wheelie bin – well, because everyone else seems to think it’s ok as far as I can see from my sidewalks. But I cannot bring myself to do this (thank heavens for the rain so I don’t have to fret about all the water used to clean the recycling as well- by the way, what’s worse? Drought and shortage of water or plastic in our fish?) so while I sit here typing away and wasting my words on this blog, I know that’s one of my jobs for today. Get to the recycling dump. Flip it.
Do you think anyone will mind if I go in my pajamas?
But before I go, I just want to say to you teachers out there, I SALUTE YOU. I can see the work you do. Teachers and nurses and carers and people who feed poor people and recycle and look after animals and save the planet, YOU are essentials and I salute every one of you.
With love in my heart and prayers for the birds and poor and the sick and South Africa and the world.