April, the autumn season in South Africa, the final flush of the summer. The days in the cape are still warm, The darkness of night gradually lengthening in time. The evenings are crisp with the promise of good winter rains. The farmers are now busy , burning the stubble and ploughing, a patch work of browns and yellows become the quilt of the country side.
This will also be a season of political change, false promises to be made to the masses, who in their need ,will forget the unfulfilled promises made by the present ruling regimen and on a racial /tribal basis cast a vote for what will be just another round of self enrichment for those in power.
Truly those who lead do not do so for the benefit of the people but to enhance their wealth and need for being raised up beyond themselves. Racialism is alive and well in South Africa. The country divided on ethnic lines. Law , education and health systems in tatters. People without leadership qualities, without the required social and technical skills being put in places of governance. In the race to be seen to be advancing the wealth of the nation, indiscriminate building projects are launched. Over financed , badly planned and poorly constructed. South Africa must be seen to be a robust and advanced community to other peoples of this world. Where in fact, as a nation, it is in an advance state of collapse .Where soon a time of political instability and the rule of violence will reign supreme. It saddens me, I have lived here through times of change , when repression was supposed to be eliminated, where personal freedoms were supposed to be espoused. All this came together like a charged battery ,but as the days grow on, the charge has dispersed and the country is slowly returning to the darkness which is Africa in the whole.
I finished my treatment for hepatitis exactly a year ago. I have become less abled as the year progressed. It started with the hope of finally attaining the defeat of the virus and now it is with a sense of defeat that the year has passed. It has become very obvious that I have no longer the strength of body left to me to keep in a position of being able to work. The mind is willing , the flesh is weak. The gradual progression of my illness has slowly taken it’s toll. I find it exhausting to just walk any distance. The joints are continuously inflamed and stiff. Everything is so slow when I do something. What was just a matter of a couple of minutes now takes hours. Garden work ,a toil of starts ,rests and restarts. Just keeping a sense of tidiness let alone of achievement in raising something beautiful and alive beyond me. Not that I was much of a gardener in the first place. It has been continuously an uphill struggle to keep a joy of life kindled in me, but I have managed it so far. There is so much to still see and to experience before the fire goes out. What has brought me pleasure though ,after years of battling with a reticent teenager, my eldest daughter is gradually aware that life as an adult has responsibilities. Maybe at last she will be able to stand alone and be the person that she can be. I think she is now seeing the light of enlightenment,but it would have helped if it had come quicker. Without all the fights and arguments, but a parent will never be right. I was just the same….
I have been going with the flow for a while now and it has made me soft and afraid. But I think it was a time that I needed in life. The vulnerability takes away the complacency. It becomes too easy to just go through the motions of living each day. I need, and so do others, to take back something from each day . Each day is an achievement it has never happened before and never will again. So it has to leave something of remark on my memory. It is up to me to make that day a remarkable one. That I had forgotten and I have let days be wasted as if they were of no consequence. I know I will still live to regret the squandering of the time. Life surrounds us, you don’t need to go to it because it will come to you. A quiet time spent in the world , watching , feeling seeing and smelling. Just absorbing all that is vibrant around you is time well spent. So enough of this computer keyboard, the day calls and the world is awake and calling.