It’s a warm Sunday, dry from the suggestion of highveld dust on the sleeping air. Mixed in with the breeze, sweetening it, the sound of praises being sung in a nearby suburban park. An innocuous place on any other day, Sunday has transformed it, becoming a church to the jubilant celebration of Christ. Worshippers in robes of lush blue and impossibly brilliant white shuffle, sway and weave between the ululating and singing of the possessed. No walking dog or pedestrian picnic will intrude on this space today. As if fuelled by the afternoon, drifting lazily past, their worship blooms, wanes, flickers and explodes with the birth and death of each Sunday moment. Thousands burned in a day.
in the shade of the trees, once the exclusive preserve of the cars of the wealthy. And white.
Parked just beyond the fringes of the grass, dozing cars listen in, speaking silently of God’s blessings in recent times. A clapped out, dented and rusty Corolla, held together by wire and faith. It sits in the shade of the trees, once the exclusive preserve of the cars of the wealthy.
Sleek and imposing beside it, the buffed, polished trophy cars of the newly rich growl silently of new power attained, as their drivers – dancing, praising in the foreground – remind onlookers of much deeper values retained in crossing an all-too-recent collision of worlds. At the end, a cheekily-parked minibus taxi (proudly waxed) celebrates the dream of the dancing, praising, small business owner joined in the jubilant worship with his passengers. So easily does an African God flow through life, work and space.
Away and out of sight, the singing begins to fade and restful, green suburbia begins to sleepily reassert itself, pretending it could be Europe. Until the air saunters on, discovering the scent of new praises, diffusing them through square after square of Sunday normalcy. The Holy Spirit, like the African one, will not tolerate being ignored.
Another MatadorU writing assignment