This is my beautiful Lindiwe, the face that lights up mine in the morning when I walk through and she just laughs with joy at the sight of her “mama”.
The sunsets in this country are amazing. The colors mix and morph before your eyes as light to dark the sky becomes. Sometimes it is as though a fire has been lit in heaven, as the warming glow crosses the field, consuming all in its fingertips. Then the softer tones of pink and purple and peach clothe the field and (if your lucky) the room in the soft tones of baby colors.
But today I realized that it’s not the colors of the sky alone that hold my stare. Whenever I look and really see the beauty of the sky, it grasps me because it is the same sky. Everywhere in the world it is the same. And more importantly, it is the same sky that touches my homeland. The same sun that rises and sets here is seen by my mom when she walks in the morning and my dad when he drives home from work. Yes, it is beautiful, but its beauty is enhanced tenfold because it is shared by those I love in the places only the sky can reach.
The things that can become “normal” in this strange world sometimes hit your reality quite hard. Today I sat in Q at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa. Besides the now-very-often occurance of being the only white in the hospitals, today the stares went to a new level.
First, a lady walking through stopped and said that I shouldn’t have a baby “that” colour (the baby I had was of mixed color) and that she would take him. I told her this was my child and she couldn’t have him. I held on tight, fought for him and she eventually went away in an huff.
Then there was a sight that turned my stomach. It takes a lot to do that, but this was more than enough. A man so skin-and-bones that you thought he would break under his own frail weight was waiting in the corridor. Then he shifted himself and I saw an extremity that was gangrene, which is a difficult sight alone. But there was an organic growth coming out the bottom of his stub.
Outside the hospital I saw a man park his combie bus, get out and take off his rims. He proceeded to put them under his seat, leave and return within an half hour. He put back on the rims and took his passengers. Apparently beauty really does come before pain. I wonder how many stops he makes a day….
All in a day’s work.