I felt like death warmed up the other Monday – with not a single spark in my battery.
I looked at myself and thought: you know, it’s because you don’t get any rest any more. You always work seven days of the week, and every day is tangled up in cellphones, landlines, email, SMS, Whatsapp, BB, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – you name it!
The whole world can reach you and even on Sundays you’re available 24/7. I decided on the spot, that’s it! From next weekend, Sunday will be a day of rest again. A day for meditating by yourself, a day on which you dust off your soul, open the hatches of your head, and breathe in the silence of me-time, allowing it to linger on your tongue. It’ll be a day on which guests share your precious time by invitation only and on which you do what you like, because it’s your day of rest. It’s the day on which you turn off all the phones and firmly silence all the computers.
A Greta Garbo day! The actress did, after all, sigh the immortal words, ‘I want to be alone!’ I take my day-of-rest day even further, now that it has new meaning for me again. I remember how Sunday was a day of so many emotions for me when I was a child. The delicious lunchtime meal, but then the enforced silence afterwards. The late-afternoon drive out to the farm to drink coffee and eat milk tart. The Sunday sounds were always those of turtledoves cooing, dogs barking in the distance, the chiming of the church bells as they called us sinners closer, the hymns of the congregation drifting through the church windows to woo passersby on the sidewalk. The sizzling of potatoes crisping in fat. The clinking of wine glasses, and the ringing of knives and forks duetting on the dinner plates.
The sounds of a town silently sleeping, resting. I make new rules for my life. You buy what you need during the week and on Sunday you don’t set foot in one of Mammon’s centres of negotiation and nonsense. You cook what you have at hand and if you run out of anything you do without it, because it’s not necessary.
You spend the day free of electronics, with no TV – nothing. Just you and your family and the life that surrounds you. You walk out into the veld and breathe in the scents that cling to your clothes. You look up into the blue sky, count the clouds, and kiss the sun. You draw in the air with a deep breath of happiness. You sit on a rock and feel the sun warming your back. You pick a handful of grasses and wildflowers and carry them back home to stand them on the table in your most beautiful vase. You make a pot of tea and listen to the silence that surrounds you. You stroke your cat until his ears flatten from pure pleasure.
And then you take a long bath in Epsom salts and handfuls of rosemary and bluegum leaves. And you close your eyes and dream of your childhood days, when Sundays were Sundays and the week was easy because on Sundays, you rested.
You climb into bed and surrender to deep Sunday afternoon sleep. And when you awake, you sit outside as the sun sets and feel the evening air wrap its shawl around your shoulders. You look up and see the evening star, and watch as the stars appear one by one in the vast sky. You listen to the sounds of the night. You listen to the beat of your heart. You listen to the silence within you. And then you pat yourself on the back for having discovered a new secret to life. You say to yourself, you know, now you’re perfectly happy. The day was yours and you enjoyed it in your own good time, and deeply appreciated it. And you say to yourself, Sunday is Sunday, and Sunday is my day of rest. Every day is precious, but from now on Sunday will be even more special, because you’ll give yourself the day as a do-nothing gift again.