March ended on a cheerful note. It was mum’s birthday on the 31st. Mum has always been an advocate of simple living. She turned 68 this year, but has more energy and enthusiasm than a 40-year old (that would be me! Haha!). She leads a very modest life. Frugal meals, long walks, evenings with friends and tinkling laughter – these are the things that define her.
Usually we take mum out on her birthday, buy her lunch or dinner and bring her expensive gifts. This year, my brother and I agreed that a simple and meaningful birthday celebration would make her happier. So we decided to cook for her. It was meant to be a surprise, so we kept it all hush-hush. My sister-in-law made delicious butter chicken, mutton and rajma (red kidney bean gravy). I made a rice pilaf and fresh coriander chutney and my brother made a yummy cake. The joy on her face was priceless. And the image of her sitting cross-legged on the floor and relishing that meal will never leave my memory.
After lunch, we piled up on her bed, surrounding her with laughter and conversation. My adorable 16-month old nephew, kept us in splits with his antics. Later, we took a leisurely walk in the park, let the grass tickle our bare feet, soaked up some warm sunshine, admired the pretty blossoms and swapped some gossip. It was a glorious day. Ordinary and exceptional all at once!
As I’m writing this, U2s song ‘Ordinary Love’ is playing in my head. “The sea wants to kiss the golden shore, the sunlight warms your skin/ All the beauty that’s been lost before, wants to find us again…. We can’t fall any further, if we can’t feel ordinary love/ And we cannot reach any higher, if we can’t deal with ordinary love”.
© Renica Rego