Monday, August 25, 2008
I had a pleasant weekend. Over the weekend we had two days when most of the time the grey drizzle and cold that we have been having in Dunedin lifted. On Saturday I hoped on my cheap bike and cycled the twelve kilometres into the harbour basin in town. I stopped briefly, had a drink from my drink bottle and cycled home again. It was just a bit of a ride, outside in the elements alongside the harbour, but it lifted my spirits. I felt so much less like an old man because I was exercising again. I enjoyed the scenery. I enjoyed the time to think and talk to myself. (Passers by may think I am strange) It was a simple but profound pleasure. On Sunday afternoon a friend and I went up my mountain, Mount Cargill, a hill on the northern edge of Dunedin. It was quite an aerobic, hard walk up to the top which was covered in cloud. It took about 65 minutes. We jogged quite a bit of the way down. Again, the bush, the exercise, and the conversation were special. A simple pleasure. Last night my wife Jean and I were invited out to an evening meal by Malini, a delightful Indian lady who is a member of our church. We shared the time with her and her elderly friend. We enjoyed beautiful spicy Indian food, and Malini insisted we eat more! We learned about Malini's childhood and life in India. I had to laugh. We got to know Malini's eighty two year old Indian friend, a lovely lady who has just started coming to our church from time to time. She is a long serving Anglican lady who Malini values as her surrogate grandmother in NZ. She told me she enjoyed our church services though they were very different from her Anglican background, and that she had been trying to describe them to her daughter. She said, "I told her, they have to be seen to be believed!" I did not think I was that weird! But again, a very precious evening of friends from different cultures talking and eating together. Advertisers keep telling us that to have the "good life" you have to spend big money! But again and again I discover there are very special, deeply enriching and inexpensive simple pleasures we can enjoy. For that I am very thankful.