/a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present/a natural ability or talent/

This is the time to look back on the year that has passed. To reflect on its little and small triumphs. To contemplate on its failures minute and dwarfingly large. But the trouble with the end of the year period or what is affectionately known as the festive season is that even if you somehow resolved to cocoon yourself in your home away from everyone and everything the spirit of this period will find you, like the smell of a fresh pie beckoning Tom to eat it while Jerry snickers devilishly in the background.

The smell of charred wood or coals as the fires are burnt outside to prepare the braais; if not the smell of the sizzling meat and boerewors as they are prepared as part of a feast to appease or give alms to the great spirits that hold the universe intact and simultaneously to wave  hunger for happiness and reunions away as friends, foes and family and strangers come together in the one spirit that is human; While the chimes of church bells ring rang a tang as the accompanying theme of this merryland. If still immune to all these special effects  the merry greetings of your neighbours outside, will penetrate the walls of your abode, grab you by the scruff and whisper softly to you that you’re insanely lonely. Step outside and be with the people! will be the resounding punctuation.

Should you be blessed with a dame and an offspring or two to go with or vice versa a mademoiselle with a monsieur and some bambinos     the chances of you not spending a dime and some quality time with the people are as skars as, that evolving species,…a butterfly, in this blazing heat.

Notice the ‘butter’ in -fly.

But of all these shenanigans of spending your hard earned loot on your family and friends or even life’s precious gift – time, one danger that you must swerve clear from is to brood over loss or missed opportunities. One tends to get more fragile when descending from a feeling of overjoy-ness to that of despair and self loathing. You may find yourself absent minded-ly tying a knot to choke your life out of your already drained body from this preceding year’s demands or stunt-ly your consciousness might be brought back to you while throwing yourself through the window of your flat. You’d be lucky if you reside on the ground floor especially if you do not land head first.

On a cheerful note it is a gift to be alive and to have been able to see the terrible year end. You have the opportunity to say to the year bye-bye I am looking forward to the next number which might be my lucky one. And if you believe in making resolutions about the up-coming year do so while sober so that you do not burden yourself with commitments when juiced.

Of all the gifts you can give to people or to yourself if you are a recluse, the best is to be sensible about the future. Make resolutions that are practical as the builder’s baksteen as he builds his structure. As he builds the builder is well aware that he has already budgeted for patience when he dug up and made the foundation for the very structure itself.


20 December

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2011