Here we are with our new flash red machines… we’ve halved the lawn-mowing time to one and a half hours by having two! Cheaper than a year’s gym membership for the next two years! (Not as many mirrors though!)
Yesterday, sadly, I backed over Finn our cat with the car today… he didn’t make it. All a bit sad around here! Finn was with us from February 2002 to December 2013. He’s always been a lively little guy with a great hunting instinct (rabbits and rats) in Dunedin and fortunately, not many birds. He also had a tendency towards clumsiness with a tail that dipped into food as he waked past, the ability to tip anything off a shelf or bench, the ability to turn the stereo up to full throttle, and a rather marvellous ability to wind up the dog by hitting him on the backside as he walked past. We will miss his greetings on the driveway, his leaping onto the roof with a tremendous thump at exactly twenty minutes after he was put out for the night, and his making himself pat-able with any guests in the house. Poor old Moby will miss him – they’ve been companions from infancy.
Another favourite memory is painting a room late into the night one time in Dunedin and hearing scratching on the window – there was Finn perched with his hind feet on an outdoor chair staring in at me and right beside him was a possum doing exactly the same…. priceless!
A real character!
The final release has come for Nelson Mandela today…
Without a doubt he has been the highest profile world personality in my lifetime – a humble giant of a man who learned the ways of radical grace and non-violent peace-making despite being held captive by a racist and violent regime that believed it had some sort of biblical mandate for its actions.
I imagine he hoped for more than has so far been achieved in South Africa, but look at how much has been achieved! In some ways the test of his leadership will be now when those who have revered him walk on into a new day without his presence.
Achieving greatness is not what can be said about many human beings – most people in power readily trip over themselves when overly adored by the crowd. But Nelson Mandela was truly great – not in a shouting from the rooftops style (not great at all!), but in humble sacrificial service, wise and careful words, patience, kindness, gentleness…
The long walk to freedom has been completed.