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Comparing my day to the same day experience by others.

Submitted: October 21, 2017

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Submitted: October 21, 2017

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The times we experience true enjoyment are rare indeed, but sometimes fortune does smile upon us. When I think about my day yesterday, I guess I really did enjoy it. I’m an outdoors person, so the first, maybe the main precursor to a great day for me is the weather. Yesterday there was no wind, it was a warm, spring day, not too hot, not a hint of chill. The other important influence for my day was that I was doing what I enjoy doing. For sure it may not be anyone else’s cup of tea but it’s mine. I spent the morning spraying weeds!

After harvesting some pine trees from the steep bank behind our house, I replanted the area with native trees to stabilize the bank and to provide shelter. Despite powerful winds, drought, weeds and rabbit predation I have pretty much won. I have made climbing on the steep slopes easier by digging narrow contour tracks, which while not an easy task, caused me personal satisfaction at the time. My task is by no means complete but the trees are no longer likely to be swamped by weeds but during the winter, pesky rabbits ringbarked three fivefinger trees that were as thick as my wrist! Yesterday’s spraying was simply a maintenance operation which allowed me to check the progress of the trees and to enjoy them at the same time.

I spent the afternoon potting begonias using my own brew of potting mix - wielding my shovel like a big spoon, mixing it in my wheelbarrow. I overwintered the tubers in buckets, tucked up out of the frost in my workshop, now they are beginning to sprout, so it’s time to pot them up for summer flowering. There I was, in the dappled shade of Norway maples, with the bay rum fragrance of a Port Wine Maple wafting towards me on the wind. In the sunlight, out of the corner of my eye, I could see the four evergreen Azaleas, purple, red and raspberry ripple as constant reminders that spring had sprung. As I walked towards the nursery with the the smaller begonias, I passed the Magnolia I grew from seed over thirty years ago. I don’t know its name but it has white flowers with a purple/red centre and a delightful scent. As I laid out the larger pots beside the heavily scented Montana Clematis, I admired way it had covered fence - there was hardly a leaf visible among the mass of pink flowers. I remembered the day Albert gave me the cutting, a stick just four inches long. It was a good day!

The same day, Asifiwe was sick with the flu. In a sense, she’s our daughter, so we care. She had been for a job interview and as we all know, aircraft are harbourers of germs! That’s where we’re placing the blame anyway. It’s the usual: starts off with a sore throat, nearly closing it, and then the blocked nose, causing a sore head and a chesty cough. Needing to cough but painful to do so, we’ve all been there! Lying in bed, with the glory of the day unnoticed outside, focused only on her own pain and suffering. Miserable she was.

The same day on the other side of the world, yet another record storm! Trees flattened, roofs blown off and powerlines down. There’s no way to cook, no lighting and commerce is halted. All are bad enough, serious in different measure. Not forgetting people on life support, perhaps dialysis. A power outage could be fatal for them. Employers take a hit with no income yet have to pay staff who are unable to create revenue. Not all bosses have the empathy or ability, and the loss of a day or two’s wages can be crippling for some households!

The same day Mexico struggled with the aftermath of the day before’s earthquake! Sixty one are known to have died so far. The search for more dead and the injured continues, but progress is dangerous and slow. Everyone has suffered loss and nobody knows what the future will hold or how they will cope. Homeless people struggle to find food and water! Disease will follow as it always does. How is it possible to respect the dead? They sit in the path of another hurricane! Desperate people lacking hope!

The same day news reports were about the war zones of Syria, Myanmar and South Sudan, but there are some thirty seven worldwide right now, thirty seven! Some more intense than others. Avoiding the death zones, refugees flee for their lives, often ending up in refugee camps where perhaps death won’t come through bullets, but still, life hangs by a thread. The inadequacy of language to describe man’s savagery leaves this void…

The Dead Poets Society: Carpe diem!  Seize the day! Robin Williams meant for his students, to ‘make each day extraordinary’. Well, extraordinary is a big thing to hope for, but if you lower your sights, you never know what might eventuate. If making the most of each day means seizing it, I reckon I’m doing ok. Not necessarily with a mind-set of actively seeking a joyful existence, sometimes it just creeps up. The question is, have I the right? When I make comparisons, I’m not altogether comfortable, but I’ve concluded, in the real world the sad thing is, there’s no such thing as fair. I just thank my lucky stars that I’m where I am, and doing what I do.

 


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