“OK, let’s look at highlights of the past year” Jacques said and gave en enthusiastic smile, but that’s where it stayed, unfortunately. The year had simply “swooshed” past in spectacular fashion and there wasn’t much to remember. How bad is that? 365 days gone and I can’t think of much. There was 22 June (when I recommitted my life to Christ), 11 August (when I was baptized), 14 September (when I decided to sign up for the Bible School Degree), 4 December (when Ps Danny took a bulldozer to my self-belief system) and 20 December (when I made a very important, life changing, decision). What happened to the rest of the time?
So, if for no other reason than convincing myself that I was in fact not abducted by aliens and lost days, weeks even, somewhere in 2014, I have decided to do a yeah- and nay-moment of the day for every day this year. At the very least, I will be able to look back at the end of the year and know what I did with the time.
1 January 2014
My yeah-moment and nay-moment unfortunately surrounds around the same event. In South Africa (probably other places in the world too) Christmas day, Boxing day and New Years day are dedicated to going to the beach. For years (in Apartheid times), this was a tradition reserved to “Whites Only”. Since 1994 however, it is a completely different picture altogether. Now everyone have access and it’s the perfect way to spend time with the family. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on all three these days on the beach and had a whale of a time. Families start arriving as early as 7 am to ensure they get a good spot. Sleeping in is not an option – if you arrive any time after 11 you are guaranteed to not find a spot. It is an experience and they make a day of it. Some come with pre-made breakfast, lunch, snacks and (in most cases) even dinner. Others opt for take-outs from the number of restaurants lined up along Beach Road. Others yet, opt for gas braai’s (barbeques for my international readers). In no time umbrellas, gazebo’s or even tents are set up and the kids dash off to the ocean while moms, aunts and grannies get settled for a long day of chatting. Dads, uncles and oupas (grandfathers) set up tables with domino’s, cards or any variety of board games while the teenagers, not sure where they fit it, get stuck in their phones – listening to music while chatting via BBM, WhatsApp, Viber or what-have-you with the equally bored teenager sitting within spitting distance from him / her. All around there is a sense of family, of togetherness. Not a minute goes by without the sounding of laughter mixing with the song of a seagull or the crashing of waves. As far as you go, people will smile and greet you, passing along season’s greetings and blessings for the new year. Just in case someone decides to step out of line and bring alcohol along, the police officers tirelessly patrolling the shoreline is quick to confiscate the offending bottles. Peace, joy, love, laughter – that’s what it’s about. That, in case you were wondering was the yeah-moment – being among all these people, soaking up the sun and the feeling of it all, yet perfectly alone within my thoughts.
The nay-moment revolves around a very unfortunately mentality which have crept in became firmly settled amongst whites in SA. I’m ashamed of it really. I’m going out on a limb here and unfortunately a lot of my white friends may not like this next bit, but you know what, I don’t really care! Whites in SA seem to be of the belief that it is no longer “safe” to go to the beaches on these days. There are just too many of “them”, they say. Excuse me?! Here is just a quick reminder of Census 2011 statistics:
African (black) population – 79.2%
White population – 8.9%
Coloured population – 8.9%
Indian / Asian population – 2.5%
Other – 0,5%
Did you honestly think that you will have the beaches to yourselves for all eternity? To white South Africans who choose to withhold this tradition from their children, I have one thing to say: WAKE UP!!! We’ve just entered our 20th year since our first free democratic elections were held; it’s about time you get with the program. I spent those days on the beach alone, one of about 10 white South Africans who chose to “brave” it and felt like part of the family. I was in fact, offered lunch or snacks on no less than 3 occasions. You’re not doing yourselves any favours.
2 January 2014
Starting a trend here, but again my yeah- and nay-moment revolves around the same event. Admittedly, I’ve not gone to the effort to check on holiday road death statistics for other countries, but the South African figures are tragic. In May 2013 we came up as the worst out of 36 countries in a global road safety report. For the period 1 December to 31 December 2013 a total of 1 184 lives were lost due to road accidents and many injured. That is 1 184 family members, loved ones and friends who will never be seen again. The reason attributed to pretty much all of these accidents? Tiredness, recklessness and drunken driving, quite frankly all human error, all due to ignorance to warnings or having a sense of being untouchable. Not to mention the fact that holiday makers are only due to start making their way back home over the next couple of days and the amount is expected to escalate drastically. Due to all these accidents, the South African Blood Transfusion Services are in desperate need of blood. The Western Cape Blood Services set up their station on the beach front today and I did my bit. Your blood can save the life of up to 3 people. What if it is one of your loved ones in hospital, desperately waiting for blood? Please take the time, it only takes around 30 minutes for the entire process and you get (very yummy) biscuits and fruit juice / water too!
I took a picture of me donating blood to post (here), but WordPress deems it to be illegal (?). Sorry folks, no image for today 😦 (hey, maybe that can be my nay-moment instead)
Apart from my yeah- and nay-moments, I have had a pretty good start to the year. I’m sun-kissed, happy and relaxed. 2014 promises to be a good one and I’ve had several confirmations from The Word in this regard:
Four promises from the Word in 2 days! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will hold!
Later friends, Be Blessed!