Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tapping in

This morning, as I was nearing the end of my contemplative time,  I became aware of a tapping sound outside my bedroom window. There was Mrs Barbet, tapping away at a branch of the frangipani bush. I wondered what she was doing as that branch is not nearly large enough for a nest to be made in it - besides which, it is not springtime in this hemisphere. Then I saw the hole she had made, and that she was enjoying a morning repast from the contents thereof.
How she knew that there was something there, I don't know! Whether it was the sap she was drinking or grubs that she was eating, I also don't know. Perhaps I would find out if I were to 'google it'. However, what I do know, is that she was tapping into that branch for some much needed sustenance, while I was tapping in to the 'bread of life' for mine.

I was reminded that I am connected to the rest of creation and have needs like other creatures. We tend to create problems for ourselves and complicate our lives when we don't seek to enjoy that which has been provided, but rather manufacture needs which we then seek to satisfy for ourselves.

So I guess this was, for me, a reminder to keep pursuing simplicity and contentment.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Being a Hermit or Hibernating?

Hibernate - animal/plant - spend the winter in a dormant state - person - remain inactive or indoors for an extended period of time. Hermit - person living in solitude as a religious discipline.
Which of these applies to me at the present time?
1. There is the inaction indoors part - not that there is complete inaction. The usual routines of living go on - like eating, sleeping, interacting with family to a limited degree, limited shopping for necessities, and so on. Activities like reading, doing crosswords, playing card games, thinking and reflecting take up a fair amount of time, and I would classify them as 'inactive' as they do not involve other people. More like going through the motions of living rather than actually participating in life.
2. There is the solitude part - a state of being separated within from what is going on around me. This is there whether I am alone inside, or whether I am out and about like at the beach, or in a coffee shop. And in this state of separation/ solitude I am continuously in conversation with my Lord. It's like I am living inside myself.
Both of these hermit and hibernating conditions seem to be applicable in varying degrees. But perhaps the hibernating part is there in greater part. Hibernation is a winter condition - a time of drought and barrenness, yet a time when roots push down deeper into soil in search of water and nutrition . It is a time of energy conservation, displaying fruits of impatience, irritability and inability to deal with other's needs and problems. This certainly explains the condition in which I find myself at this time.
I shall continue to embrace this time of withdrawal and energy conservation at all levels (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) while waiting on God, knowing that He is present and active, and trusting that I will recognize the signs of new life - a season of spring - when He judges that I am ready for it.

Dyslexic Plumbing?

It has seemed to me to be the norm that when it comes to taps on basins, sinks and baths, that the right hand tap is for cold water, and the left hand tap is for hot water. Now, on the coast of KZN, specifically in a dwelling at Salt Rock, I have encountered the reverse. At first I wondered whether the taps had been mistakenly put in that way - and that the tap labelled cold would actually be hot and vice versa. But in taking a risk to find out in the shower, it turned out that the right hand tap labelled hot was indeed hot. And this has proven the case for each of the installations! So it is a relief that I can take the labeling as being accurate.
But other questions now arise:
- Is the installation specific to this house only, or is it common on the Natal Coast? To find out the answer I will have to do some investigating in other houses and buildings. Unfortunately, being a visitor to this area, the opportunity doesn't arise for me to do this. So, I guess, the easiest way to find out would be to visit a hardware/ plumbing shop. Or maybe to simply ask the owners/ builders of this establishment - which is by far the easiest way of finding out.
- Is the hot/ cold water arrangement global or a north/ south hemisphere thing? Perhaps like the direction the water circles down the plug hole - i.e. clockwise below the equator, and anti-clockwise above the equator [don't laugh - I saw this for myself when I spent a year in the USA]. So I shall have to ask my northern hemisphere friends about the arrangement of their taps. I wonder what they will think of my question? - perhaps that I am going batty?
- Is the tap arrangement British versus Other? If so, then this part if the Natal Coast, or the builders of this establishment were/are not of British extraction - because in my experience, the taps in the United Kingdom have cold on the right and hot on the left. If it is a British versus Other thing, then this is a potential scandal as KwaZuluNatal is considered by some of its inhabitants (who are in the minority although you wouldn't think so if you we're to spend time among the little commercial enterprises in the Natal Midlands) to be the last outpost of the British Empire.
Whatever the answers, at least I can know that for now I will not scald myself when turning on the tap labelled 'C' for cold (unless both taps are labelled C as for the bath!). But it will be good to check wherever I go, in case the plumber who did the installation suffered from dyslexia.