If you do not know the story about Goldilocks and the 3 bears, you might want to google it. The story, whose moral I am yet to fathom, was told me while still in primary school. It did not matter then that somehow the bears were able to talk, and that somehow the bears had a home… and a table… and chairs… and porridge… and a bed that was just right for goldilocks to snuggle into and fall fast asleep to the chagrin of baby bear who exclaims (with what I imagined was a small voice): “…and she is still sleeping in my bed!”, after complaining that this someone had eaten all her porridge no less!
That was the story then… Fast forward to May 1, 2011.
The day was quite unplanned, but was a really great day all the same… 2 invitations the evening before… one to begin the day at 6:15 am heading for Mass at a couple of villages away, and another to participate in May day celebrations with my colleagues and staff at 3:00pm. The 7:00am Mass I did not make, but I was real ready for the next one :-). The day was spent praying, and sharing with people I had never met before, who welcomed me into their home and gave me food fit for a king. I remember thinking: “this chicken could taste better than the one I am supposed to help cook later, so I better enjoy it”… and I certainly did.
In fact, I enjoyed myself so much and found the welcome so warm, that I was 2 hours late for the staff barbeque, which had began to get washed out by the time I arrived. Not to be daunted, the grills were on the verandah and the cooking continued with great gusto as men and women alike silently wept from the smoke of the fire swirling under the roof of the verandah for lack of freedom to escape. In fact my timing was so bad, that by the time we were through, I smelled of smoke to the very root of every last follicle of hair on my head… sigh…
Every good thing comes to an end eventually, and by 9:00pm it was time to find my way home. The rain had made the roads a little slippery so I drove gingerly (if it is at all possible to do that), all the while thinking: “this is the first Sunday I have spent the entire day outside the house while still being on the property. I wonder how the house will feel like now that I am getting back so late.”
I got home ready for a good night’s sleep after a day well spent. I had forgotten to leave the security lights at the house on, so it would be pitch dark if I switched off the vehicle lights. There was no way to get round to the front of the house without a torch, so I left the vehicle lights on and walked round planning to switch on the security lights then go back out to turn the vehicle lights off. The vehicle lights were not strong enough nor were they pointing in the right direction so it was still quite eerily dark.
I walked quickly hoping to settle into safety in the house sooner. I fumbled for the keyhole and unlocked the door when the smell of onions hit me like a nylon bag thrown over my face preventing me from breathing. Something was not right… the smell was too strong and I had not cooked the day before… there was no reason for onions to smell that strong…. I moved quickly to turn on the light switch by the door, looked around and … froze…
Copyright © 2011, Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved.