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Silent Sundays


I awake to find my world shining:  tiny droplets cling to leaves and birds; shingles and window panes, making everything sparkle.
A light drizzle had fallen while we were sleeping.
"We have ants mom!" my son said opening  the front door in the dark of Saturday night, his arms weighed down by shopping bags.  He was becoming a man, fast. The kind of man who carries bags and opens doors.
"Looks like its gonna rain," I said, "we can do with some rain."

Sunday.
I leave the kitchen door open to let in the smell of newly washed earth. Our garden looks wild and untamed, no manicured lawns or beds of flowers, but lush guava trees and thick bushes, and a bird bath holding crisp clear rainwater.
Tiny birds are having a party, tweeting and splashing about amidst the quiet of a sublime Sunday.
A solitary car hums in the distance disturbing the peace and they scatter.
"Lucky birds!"I call to them.
 They have flight when noise imposes in their world.
The pair of them come to rest on vibracrete, walking it like a tightrope.
Always the pair of them.
"Hey, King, " I say, "you've been playing in the rain?" his coat is shiny and he gives it a shake spraying water all over my slippers.
"Cheeky bugger!" I yell after him as he makes his way to the kennel.

Laughter from next door spills out as our neighbour opens her back door. Her laugh is carefree and loud, it carries happiness and is infectious.Woman's voices in the grips of juicy tales and pot lids banging on kitchen counters sets me on a journey to my childhood. I take in the tantalising aroma of spices and sounds and a feeling of longing overwhelms me. It is tangible, it washes over me bathing me in want. I think of the important women in my life, and I miss them.
We are separated by death and distance.
I miss my mom, a quiet woman with a big throaty laugh.
I miss my sister, a marathon chatterbox, spouting wisdom and advice and juiciness in endless soundbites.
I miss hearing their voices.
My mom's voice plays in my head, but it becomes fainter with each passing year. I miss hearing voices, laughter, pauses, giggles, sobs. I miss hearing "I love you!", "I miss you!" or just "Hello!"

Technology has everyone typing these days. We use our fingers more than our voices (it's so much cheaper, but the cost is too high)
We type:

  •  Text message with fake emoticons to simulate feelings.
  •  In CAPS to SHOUT in anger, in frustration, in defense.
  •  Tiny brackets to hug... then type it twice to make the hug bigger...
Loaded silence.
A knock sounds at the front door.
"Was the universe listening?"
"Did it send a woman with words to my door?"
I hear a voice, it says :"Hello."
"Come through," says the man of the house, "the other one's in the kitchen."
I hear footsteps approaching, not the clicking of heels on wood, but the squeak of rubber, heavy, plodding. Man steps.
"The universe has a strange sense of humour."
(The universe and kharma both female, both quiet for a while now.)
I nod hello to the Telkom guy there to fix our phone, our connection faulty.The men talk about connections and lines and portals and I tune out.
3 - 1: outnumbered -  testosterone 3 - Love.
I know now how my dad must've felt in a house of woman.

The Telkom guy leaves, and the phone rings. It is a welcome sound and I leave it ringing, enjoying the shrill thrill.
I lift the receiver, say "Hello!" into the speaker; my voice low, expectant...
"NANA!"
And I melt, my heart turns over and love pours out from the other side of the world. She brings the balance, she is the thread of gold that weaves us all together; keeping our bond intact.

Joy erupts from deep inside me and I laugh a throaty laugh that carries with it on the wind a joy that spreads throughout the quiet streets of a sleepy suburb.

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