I love autumn, it is a season of quiet and maturity. My trips to the park are becoming more frequent, and I am savouring the time I spend with my son in the golden warm weather.
Yesterday we happened onto two birthday parties in the park. The kids and their nannies were the main guests, and of course a handful of moms and dads completed the picture.
Although we received an invitation to one of them, we remained on the sidelines watching the festivities.
The party went in full swing after singing the traditional “Happy Birthday tooo yoooou” and its Zulu equivalent “Mine mnandi kuwe = God bless you today”. The nannies broke out in full song, with their harmonious, velvety voices. My heart soared on wounded wings, and I was reminded again, why I love this place. I can relate so much to the African spirit, its capacity for great joy, great anger and great pain – sometimes all at the same time. The women especially fascinate me. I can see the love they bestow on their charges. I can see that they are real mothers to these children from morning till afternoon, Mondays to Fridays. At the same time, they do have their own families. Their own children are perhaps neglected, and left to fend for themselves, it is a hard life. Yet they take whatever joy they can from it. When there is an opportunity for happiness and cheer, however fleeting, they grab it with both hands and embrace it with their hearts. Tomorrow they will go home to face their never ending problems, but today they sang and danced and enjoyed themselves, and lifted my spirit in the process.