Friday, 1 January 2021

Unwrapping a brand new year

Like flipping the page

We ushered in the New Year quietly, no fanfare or gatherings as we were under a curfew in South Africa. The ban on alcohol sales also meant there was no bubbly to click glasses to and without live television there was nothing to keep us prompted on the passing of time.

With an eye on our watches, we lit a candle each o reflect on a year we could never have anticipated, to remember the many who we lost to the pandemic and other causes along with the blessings and grace that has kept us, and to resolve to live, tell, and write better stories.

Not a paradise for many

When it struck midnight, some people came out of their houses to hail in the New Year, a lady above us was beating a pan and hollering at the top of her voice. We looked out to see what was going on, acknowledged and exchanged celebratory greetings until the persistence from street level indicated something else.

The man was pleading for alms and others were already lining up to ask for something if I acceded the first request. There is grinding poverty in Cape Town, it is difficult to look into the eyes of some people and not feel your heart go out to them, but there is little you can do. Once you give to one, literally out of nowhere many appear acting completely oblivious of the fact that you had just been generous. Suffering has no nuance, survival scrapes for anything.

Not too ordinary a day

At that point, we kept away from the window until the police dispersed the people whilst we made to retire and go to bed. When we eventually woke up, we went out for brunch before making for the V&A Waterfront. Finding a quiet spot by the Mariner’s Wharf, we soaked in the sun, at a large harbour of yachts all overlooked by the natural emblems of Cape Town from left to right, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain, and Signal Hill.

On our return home, I fell asleep on the couch, it was another day, an auspicious day by the calendars we share and with it we close the chapter on a year that was yesterday and begin to plan to a different tomorrow. Most of all, I did all this with my fiancé, Brian, the love of life and amazingly wonderful man.

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