Friday, 9 August 2013

On seasons

You could see it in their eyes: what it feels to be normal, to be kicked out of routine- a routine of twelve hour shifts, thirty consecutive days at a time, living on a floating vessel a (few) hundred miles from land. Coming from an upper middle class society, I’ve been spared from much physical labour and I find it strangely enchanting to watch the labourers at rest, and in watching them, too, be at rest. Half-days off for Raya has done all of us a lot of good in becoming more human (albeit, not so good for project progress). 

I’ve always found seasons one of the most  brilliant of God’s abundant creation, and found it rather unfortunate that we don’t get seasons in tropical countries. Brilliant mainly because: 

  • I love how seasons give different flavours to the same scenery. 
  • I love the diversity in the way people dress and look- there are ways the weather can help us look pleasant, but being a one-season nation, we have not understood this- we are a nation of shorts and tees and slippers and jeans. We will never understand summer dresses and we will never understand cardigans. 
  • I love snow. A lot. 

Apart from the immediate foreseeable benefits - there’s the added benefit of time keeping. I mean that life, when measured by yardstick of days, could easily spiral out of control and leave us in a rut. And what’s to stop us from doing so? 

It’s crossed my mind, that the closest thing we might have to seasons (in Malaysia), is the month of Ramadhan (that happens once or twice each year, depending on the Hijrah calendar). Obviously, its a whole lot different from seasons as understood in temperate countries, but it bears some resemblance in the fact that it imposes a change to life (as it normally is), for a certain duration each year for the fasting muslimeen. But for the kuffars like myself, it is all bazaars, rendang, ketupat, ayam percik and serunding. 

Still so much practice to notice God in each and every season


Disclaimer: Second bullet point does not absolve the reader’s responsibility to practice grace in addressing my lack of taste and fashion sense.

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