A secular Sunday


A benevolent sleep-in ended by warm, golden morning sunlight piercing eyelids, demanding attention.
The day beckons. Act decisively, throwing back deliciously warm bed covers and stepping onto carpet. Ignore the crisp morning bedroom air. Warm water in the shower a must.

Trusting in an abundance of undeserved grace, we decide collaboratively to avoid our local Lutheran church this morning. Instead we hit the café strip and choose somewhere with a seat in the sun. A breakfast to delight. Orange and pineapple juice with an overt dash of ginger. Savoury mince with lashings of salt and a fried tomato thickly sliced. Beautiful people all around. (Why did they let us in?) Sue can’t go past the smashed avocado with smoked salmon on sour dough – and why should she? Life is good.

One duty avoided, another tugs at the sleeve. Visit mother in hospital. Gown-up with duck bill mask and gloves and walk into a darkened isolation room where an old lady lies shrunken and covered with bed clothes. She doesn’t recognise you straight away. Thinks you are another doctor.
Left lying in bed for over a week in with a blinding headache I guess she is accustomed to being ignored; to being an inconvenience; a unit; a number. Give her a couple of panadol on cue, deliver her meals to her room and leave her to lie in the dark. After all, there are duties to be attended to. Nobody, it seems, joined the dots and considered that maybe something was seriously not right with her – least of all her son, who preferred to leave responsibility for her care to her aged care facility. Meningitis. She is not so bad now they are actually treating her. It makes you wonder just how porous is the safety net that holds her. Life is a bit more tenuous than I would like to imagine.

Leave the hospital and do a few more errands. Look for an outdoor furniture shop that has three different addresses on Google of which only one is current, and that turns out to be over 30 km away. Time to buy some groceries and head for home to enjoy a free-form lunch on the patio. Life is mostly good.

Afternoon brings some down time. Sue is busy preparing a presentation for work the next day, and I am doing what I do best: Sitting and thinking about stuff. Although she loves me Sue does not always share my inclination, and has been known to describe my contemplation time somewhat less than charitably. After many years together, my dear wife now accepts that is what I do, even if she does not always see it as a priority. All great minds need time out to process stuff. Lesser minds like mine just need more time to do it.

4pm. Pull on the walking shoes and head off on a power walk together before the sun drops too low. Pure bliss! Two people in sync. This is talking time. Life is good.

Back home sitting on the patio, a wine glass fills and the conversation continues. Sunset colours skip across trees and buildings. Sue concedes the value of down time. I volunteer to cook the meal. Undeserved and abundant grace. Thank you God. Life is definitely good.


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