Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coffee and a rusk

The morning after...

No matter what came before, what adventures, fair or foul: coffee galloping over the Cadac gas flame, milk heating, the rusk packet rustling...all is restored and brought to a moment of peace. Koffie en beskuit. Coffee and rusks.

Over how many hundreds of years has this started the day for a people who evolved from colonizers and native peoples, who took root, who took a stand and who then took too much?

I just learned that my father's father lost three sisters in English concentration camps, to disease and malnutrition. His brother Daniel was, at 12, apparently the youngest Boer prisoner of war, sent to Ceylon for riding commando.

Monkey see, monkey do. The abused is the abuser. The oppressed becomes the oppressor. One can't help thinking of the rise of the Third Reich as a response to the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Or of children who see their mother beaten or humiliated, who go on to beat and humiliate their women and wives, their own children.

You see what coffee and rusks can do? I think it's the dunking needed to soften what Vince describes as "a biscuit resembling pieces of old castle wall." Time for contemplation.

Then you bite your rusk, taste the wonderful combination of biscuit and coffee, and it all vanishes like a mirage. There are weaver birds at your feet...

... and night insects resting in the trees, innocuous in daytime, fearsome in the dark.

And the sun is rising, reflected from the puddles of rain left by a storm in the night.

The day has started, and the road awaits.


  1. Beautifully said, we are part of something so much bigger than us.. just by our simple traditions. Thank you.

  2. holy cow, how long is that bug? what is it?

  3. The weaver birds are gorgeous - I'm not talking about that bug! Are they really that red! Neat. Thanks for sharing.

  4. What a visually stunning and beautifully articulated and thoughtful post.
    So envious!!

  5. Nice photo of what looks like an antlion nymph.

  6. Rosie - thank you :-)

    Dona. BIG! About 5" long. I defer to Adam, though I thought ant lions themselves were quite small. Shall look it up in the SA Insect Book.

    Webb, yes, bright yellow and red (red bishop bird.

    Mal Content, thank you. And envious of rusks? Of a checkered past?

    Thank you, Adam..hitting the books now. There's a whole moth post coming up.


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