During a recent swim training session, my coach remarked that I was swimming exceptionally well. As soon as she’d said it, I realized just how smoothly the swim was going. My breathing was easy, my strokes long and purposeful, the distance felt achievable. And Cara, whose eagle-eyes catch every nuance of poor form, had not found it necessary to bring correction. It was one of those days when swimming is pure joy. Indeed, a good day in the pool. Which got me thinking about the “other” days.
One of the biggest health challenges facing the world today is the silent epidemic of lifestyle diseases. Diabetes, insulin resistance, cardio-vascular diseases and hypertension have been identified as the biggest killer in the developed world, and are increasingly impacting the quality of life in developing countries.
I was a reluctant exerciser. Not that I disliked exercise per se. It’s just that I sucked at it! You name the sport; I sucked at it. You know that fat kid, that’s always last to be chosen for teams at school? The kid who wears glasses (from age 4!) and has what was known in my day as “butter-fingers? That kid was me.
The hadada ibis chick in my garden is getting ready to fly. The sole surviving hatchling after his sibling eggs were blown to the ground in a storm, his arrival surprised and delighted us (we had supposed the whole brood was lost).
In the three-plus weeks since he emerged from his shelled incubator, the hadada’s world has been confined to a single branch on a tree from where he has watched our comings and goings, tilting his head to follow me with his eyes as I tend the rabbits. And we, in turn, have watched him grow from feathery babyhood to the size-able fellow that he is now.
It’s been a long dry season in the southern tip of Africa we call home. Far too many dry days, not enough rain. Far too little of the precious water we need to sustain life. And yet, stepping into my garden today, there is evidence of life.
Months and months and months of depending solely on the little rain that has fallen but suddenly, in the dead of winter, feisty little buds are popping up their pretty heads. Their beauty astounds me and it dawns on me… this garden is hope!