THE EDITOR: New Year’s morning in Sunkist Drive, Phillipine, I was awakened by the pittter-patter of raindrops on the shiny galvanised roof below in the garage, that gentle drip, drip becoming a loud symphony in minutes, cascading down the PVC drain pipe below.
It made me almost nostalgic about the days we lived in the sugar estate barracks at Golconda a long time ago when there was no such fancy roofing.
But that pitter-patter sound on the old-fashioned galvanise was music to our ears as we pulled the flour bag coverlets over our heads as we lay on the wooden beds. Or if not yet in bed, munching on the hot sada roti which ma had just finished “sakayin,” plucking it out of the red hot coals from the chulha.
The patter of the rain on the old roof and the taste of tomato choka in the hot sada roti would have had no equal since.
But I also waxed philosophical over this sudden downpour on the first morning of the New Year after the excessive heat of the previous week, as if it were a symbolic gesture from the powers above that they are always there for us, ready to resuscitate us, to rejuvenate us, no matter how tough the weather has become.
Which is a lesson we must all learn, especially those who lead at different levels of the society, like the heads of households who must continue to lift up those in their care who have fallen by the wayside.
Or like the heads of religious organisations who must continue to preach brotherhood although the pull of sectarianism is strong. Or like the leaders of social organisations who must continue to lead out of a sense of service and not of self.
And how can we miss, like those who control our lives in government whose raindrops must be the multiple strategies they adopt to bring relief to citizens ravaged by floods, or by crime or by homelessness and poverty.
Again I reflect, for these raindrops falling on our heads as a soothing balm for the heat now and yet to come tell how it seems as if we are favoured by those watching over us as a people. For how can we reconcile this symbolic goodwill gesture in the rain to the 4,000 people in South Australia pushed to the brink of the ocean by raging seemingly uncontrollable fires, with not a raindrop in sight for the next few days, according to reports?
Maybe we are truly blessed. But can we not show our appreciation by reciprocating in kind with a measure of good to those around us at every level of our existence?
Maybe that can be the most meaningful new-year resolution for us all.
DR ERROL N BENJAMIN