My dad says that rest is good.

God thinks so, too.

My husband says I’m not very good at it.  Just resting.

I like to be busy, even if it’s doing something that I find relaxing.   I have a hard time just sitting, if you know what I mean.

I’ve come to learn that, in general, Africans are better at rest than Americans.  They’re incredibly diligent workers, too — but they also know how to rest.

How to sit on plastic chairs under a tree and just let the afternoon pass by with a two-litre of Coke.  How to stand around a braai and laugh while the sun goes down.  How to steal away from the buzz of the city and listen to the waves in Pringle Bay or Kleinmond.




I tried it once.  At my husband’s suggestion, I went to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens one sunny but cool afternoon and purposely sought out a tucked away spot off the beaten path.  I found a friendly tree and spread out a beach towel, and just sat and leaned against its massive trunk.



It was amazing how much I actually noticed during that hour of solitude.  How the clouds drifted by slowly, acknowledging my presence but not lingering long enough for a chat.  How the two rotting limbs on the ground before me held such beauty.  How the largest trees of the forest stood as sentries, guarding all that lived and grew below.

And it was good.


This is Day 12 of 31 Days of Life in South Africa.