I am sitting here in the dark. I know it is still light outside, but my eyes don’t see any of that. My other senses are, however, enjoying a rollercoaster ride.
The wind is showing its might. It is furiously forcing its path through the branches of the huge olive tree outside my window. The howls echo off the red brick walls of the nearby buildings.
The rain is pouring down so hard. Belting down on the tin roof covering the patio, it sounds like a million drummers are beating an out-of-tune song.
The water, flooding through every crevice, is saturating everything it reaches.
Inside the fire is roaring. The waves of heat are slowly reaching my chilly and dry skin.
The air is filled with delicious smells. The aroma of chilli, coriander and onion from the cast iron casserole pot boiling away on the stove. This hearty cauldron has been stuffed full of sausages, potatoes and tomatoes. I know how delicious and warming this will be later as the rich and savoury gravy slides down my throat and beats a course to my stomach. I look forward to being warm, content and full.
My spaniels are lovingly huddled at my legs both resting their heads on my feet and gently snoring away. Their golden curly hair tickles my toes just a little as they breathe.
Life is good, I feel fat and content in my little world. This does however disturb me as I think of aIl the unfortunate people that don’t have the same comforts. Poor people. Hungry. Poor people. Cold. Poor people that are seeking shelter in their little rusted tin huts. Huts crammed together like sardines in a can. They are all together, yet so alone. No real protection from the elements roaring around the ‘mother city’. How can they call it the ‘mother city’ when on days like this it does not seem very maternal. In fact not maternal in any way. I feel guilty. I wish that they too could have some of the comforts that I enjoy today.
I have just finished listening to an audio book. A book that I actually read myself. Many years ago. When I could still see. The classic,”The Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger. Wondering about the people living in the forgotten squatter camps around the city reminds me of a quote from this book: “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” I wish I was a mature enough man that I could take up this cause and change the lives of all these suffering people. How can I help these people when I am just learning to help myself?
I shake my head to clear my mind. I am back to the here and now. The warm fire, the sounds that echo around my home and the fragrant smells filling the air.
The darkness is my torture but the solitude is ok. There is after all a massive diference between being alone and feeling alone.