Am troubled. Something is not quite right. Cannot place the finger firmly on the issue. After all, the senses are being pleasantly assaulted by this new day. Big rain last night (at least 50mm – love the new rain guage) and the day is fresh, fresh, fresh!
Late morning, on the way to the balcony, coffee in hand, subtle scents of Melur (Jasmine flower) wafting towards the nostrils – YUM! This tub plant recently installed at the balcony is certainly giving with the tiny delicate hanging white flowers in profusion. Looking out from the balcony, lush green street tree canopy casts careful shade on the street below. Front gates and houses across the street present an elegant sense of human order. Front yard plants below, in flower as they know they should be. Glossy new leaf growth sprouting with vigour from late Spring rains and sunshine between. Above, Sun is playing hide and seek with fluffy white clouds and the sky between is doubly blue.
Neighbours waste bin lid opens and closes with a soft plastic thud. Soft shuffle sound of his slippers dissipating across the floor tiles until the sound is no more. Birds calling out, not sure why, but is blissful to hear the lazy chatter that rises up and down to stillness. I could almost hear a pin drop. A car nearby, accelerating up the hill, gear change noted. Motorbike staccato getting further away on the nearby but out of sight highway. Cicadas just starting to warm up. An hours time and the sound will dominate the airwaves.
Family inside, Zoom meeting with their sister in the USA. Conversation 50/50 Bahasa Melayu and English. Laughter and stirring up of each other. No one is spared in this mirthfest. Some serious conversation, but something said, not sure what, but laughter is loud enough! Someone burps – mock offence by her Mom and more stupidity is the encore.
Have just finished cleaning up from last night’s final Raya event. Barbecued kebabs, small fire and much conversation. Sister in law and family were here from their house 2 minutes walk away. A lovely time was had by all.
“Shades”, the cat strutting her stuff along the top of the boundary wall towards her favourite lookout position to survey all of the street.
So normal, this suburban bliss and mix of scents, trees, sky, light wind, bird calls, cicadas, neighbour’s slipper shuffle, cars, bikes, laughter from within and clean ups from last night.
Mind diverts, something in the sub-conscious reminding me of appointment tomorrow, but what? Something is on in the morning. Just remembered, cricket tomorrow. Yay! Oh dear, Nay! Cancelled due to the new Covid lockdown. Grrr….. after one year of no cricket due to the Covid curse, this was going to be the fourth game of a new year. Had played in the first three games over the last six weeks. Body and mind finally getting back to normal cricket switched on. And now? Not so. Mind is now fixed to the Covid negative. Cannot get it out of my head.
Checked the Covid App and it states 60 Covid cases within 1 kilometre. Check the headlines- ICU wards almost full of severe Covid cases. New variants are now in the Community. Just under 5,000 new cases reported yesterday. In reality probably twice that number as the Government has lost control of its earlier good contact tracing efforts. Roadblocks surround Kuala Lumpur. Every State except for Perlis is recording triple digit Covid cases way too regularly and now too normally.
To self – “Come on man, get back to the bliss of now, drink in the view from the balcony or go inside and laugh with the family and their combined sibling stupidity. That “C” word cannot be the new normal. I won’t let it take over and grey cloud the day.”
Inside I go to embrace the normal of family and glance back at balcony view once more to remind myself that all those senses and thoughts earlier from the balcony were the normal in that short period of life. Smile inward I do at the generosity of life with the family on a quiet suburban street in the foothills of Kuala Lumpur.
Life in 2021 may not be normal, but today for that precious period, on the balcony it was.