It’s 5:30pm; the setting sun has cast everything in a golden light. I’m sitting on my steps, the breeze is crisp and the air smells fresh. I watch as the neighbor boys and Babe hand plant the maize. The hoe pierces the ground with a thud and a shoeless boy tosses in a seed before covering up the hole with his bare foot. Three teams of two scale up and down the rows. This is the third and final section of the field to be planted. Section number one is already burgeoning. The maize stocks, about 2 feet high, rustle in the wind.
Everything is stunningly green from the recent rains. Where there was only dirt last year, there is now rapidly growing grass that just begs to be laid in. I just spent an hour bengihlagule (weeding) in my garden. It is finally looking less abandoned. Time to plant lettuce and beetroot! I found a giant spider and what appeared to be its egg sack in the dirt. With a heavy heart I sprayed it with bug killer and reburied it. It may have been poisonous and had direct access to my window.
Now time for dinner and another glorious African sunset! But wait… sisi Nisipho has just come into the family garden. She is picking tonight’s dinner – spinach. She carried her 1 and ½ year old son on her back. She bends with the balance only a Swazi mother knows. A four donkey drawn car has pulled through the far gate. They are dropping off firewood; a symbol of time passed and self-sufficiency.
Life seems simple and pleasant tonight. Past remorse isn’t clouding the senses, the urgency of the future isn’t pressing. Its nice to just enjoy the moment.