I sketched a plan-attached it to purpose. Plugged it into my observations and this is what I saw.........My Divinity
Most people live their lives searching for disappointment because someone or something told them that that is all they deserve. Till-An out-stretched hand-to support. An act of kindness to uplift. Words of comfort to again make the heart a believer and kindness a stepping-stone into the sunshine
Diarize is my abstract composition on being
A week day. Another rearranged supermarket shelf and a bewildered figure. Well dressed; kindly aura. Pleasant, Searching the 'Household Cleaning Products' section with a keen eye. My search for household items overlaps hers as I work my way down, then back up the aisle. Our paths cross momentarily, eyes meet. She smiles a 'welcome '. Her eyes sprinkled with sadness and hope. " Oh, they're forever moving things around, don't you know? "
" I know, it's crazy " I counter as she reveals the item eluding her and we search together. It is three minutes after eleven. My intention on this day. A quick jaunt into town and then home, but now. I cross paths with Irene. Irish. Eighty-two. The second of eleven children. I sense she wants to talk. I listen. She has twenty grandchildren; she shares. Left Ireland to marry a 'treasure of a man' and live in cities where contempt for her thick accent and ethnicity were not embraced.
Chose to balance the contempt with a thirst for altruistic acts beyond herself. Protecting those more vulnerable than her and shaping young minds to find the 'robust' within. " I don't understand why there are so many unkind people in the world " Her statement sincere - I smile at the honest question as she asks me my name. I tell her.
" Well. You know my dear I could stand here talking to you all day but I have to get over and see my husband. He's in a nursing home. Worked all his life to help others, now, out of the blue, he's taken ill. Sometimes it's a long journey to see him but if I time things right, I can go and see him and be back home before it gets too late as I'm Catholic, so I always go and say a prayer before visiting him. "
I tell her to continue believing in the Most High's love for him. She thanks me, allows her goodbye to lengthen casually for another half hour. Apologises for collecting up my time for herself, it was not her intention but, her lovely family. Her fight for the downtrodden. her wonderful son who cares about her deeply. The good people that had inspired her to keep believing. " Well - This is my story young lady. "
I thanked Irene ( not her real name) for her words. Her time. Her openness. It was a rare moment of deep connection we find less and less but a moment for my day that was golden.
She, an elder, flushed in egg shell blue on traditional Asian attire - Shalwar Kameez, neatly fixed hair, and the preoccupied expression that spoke of a time when the herb garden and the curative principles of 'Wild Berries' held a hallowed place in the maintenance of our medicinal evolution.
Her fingers brush lightly the skin of the random ripe red berry hanging in the centre of the berry bush, decorating the outskirts of the town centre car park and I am whisked back to a time when 'Rose Hip Berries. Soursop leaves and Naseberries' made comfortable bedfellows, in ma ma's comfortable earth green kitchen as I cycle casually past the preoccupied figure. A Tuesday. Market day in my town animating designated space.
Now, contemplating. She hesitates momentarily, frees the ripe berry from its stem. Examination in order, satisfied it is the appropriate pulpy fruit and reaches for another. A delightful cache. A compote, a potion, a solution. Maybe a mixture of all three to heal when she returns home and, how often we negate the remedial acumen of our elders, in favour of the generic Eden many run to fill with our own toxicity. Dependency on the carcinogens our sanctuary.
I smile. Sail past; thoughtful. She is still picking and I am thankful for the knowledge of the elders that moulded me to wear organic
Saturday. Twelve forty six pm. A black SUV. A quiet residential area and- Me. Comfortable in my natural, revolutionary Afro. My friend; Jasmine, sports braids behind prescription-tinted sunglasses as the summer heat on one of the hottest days of the year pushes the A/C into overdrive. We are parked up outside my front gate, engrossed in the heavy details of the week's events and personal happenings. Our weekly Saturday routine. Jasmine; close family friend. Mother. Baker of bread. Witty raconteur, has brought me my weekly cache of plant based goods. Pre-ordered from her small, flourishing 'organic staples' business.
12.56- The house next to mine. A man exits. Middle aged, balding with a pale pinkish crown. Face painted with the entire day's disdain for anything ; joyful. Our eyes meet, he is now wearing a scowl, peers in through my passenger window and moves, haltingly, past my passenger door. The strange behaviour breaks our conversational stride momentarily and we watch him. One parked car away behind Jasmine's black SUV, open his car door. Survey the interior. Close and lock the car door and repeat the bizarre behaviour on his return. Scowl, still in tow, before disappearing through his front door.
13.10- The young man in shabby black jogging bottoms. Unkempt shoulder length brown hair and inquiring air about him appears from the house opposite mine. Proceeds to cross the road in a brisk manner that takes him close enough to Jasmine's driver's side. Makes eye contact with her and fades into the distance.
13.25- The pear shaped lady with loose blonde curls. boisterous gate and a penchant for 'front room window surveillance' as I have routinely noticed if Jasmine has parked opposite her abode. Exits her garage door which is to the right of her front door and slightly behind Jasmine's black SUV. I catch sight of her in my side view mirror, approach and then pass my passenger door. Turn hastily into the pathway of the house three doors down to repeat the process ten minutes later on her way back. This time making quizzing eye contact with myself and then Jasmine before entering through the garage door she had exited ten minutes earlier.