Yesterday, coming home in the evening with the diesel bakkie veritably moshing to Anarchy in the UK, I was light of heart and looking forward to a single day off work for Freedom Day, South African style. This normally involves fair crowds turning up at the Union Building to hear the president speak, plus sundry rallies around the rest of the country – while the Bourgeoisie of all races does what it always does on such serious occasions – it goes shopping.
Not that I was planning on doing any shopping myself. Having faced the hypermarket on Saturday and smuggled in enough provisions to last two humans and two dogs a month, I was planning a leisurely day in the garden, with maybe a little baking on the side.
The day dawned grey and miserable, cold, with a light drizzly rain just wet enough to keep everyone inside with the panel heaters on.
Gahh. I don’t know how the British stand this. I was an acute agoraphobe in a previous existence, so the lack of high blue Freedom skies never bothered me. It does bother me today however. I feel as if I’ve been dipped in grey suet and left in a lump in the middle of a chilly bowl. Macaroni and cheese I have made, and right now ten scones are baking in the gas oven. A slight pall of depression seems to issue from me,and indeed from most of the suburban dwellers of Joburg – the power has gone out, perhaps instigated by the huge explosion in Rivonia this morning – a short circuit, we are told, in a substation.
I go through this mild discouragement every year, just before Samhain. In just over a week, I’ll be tolling the names of my Beloved Dead: grieving and rejoicing for them, feeling their earthly shades draw near me again in the circle. It tends to thrust my roots even further into the soil, as I let go of the tears stored up throughout another whole year, and I ask myself where that year went, again.
By the time the skies have cleared into their normal Highveld pale blue remoteness, I’ll have the incense ground and ready, the candles new, the ritual area cleansed and ready. And my voice will go out once more across the universe, across the years, to close out the old year and start a brand new one.
Pic: from Alan Baxter’s site