Short stories, Travel and Health Information
After many years of living overseas, I am back once more in Colombo.
Seated on the veranda in a comfortable armchair and sipping my morning cup of tea, I can savour the vista of green in front of me.
At the far end of the well maintained expanse of lawn stand two magnificent trees. They have been here before my grandparents were born – and they will still be standing here long after my own grandchildren are no more. There are birds in their branches -and near the foot of the trees a lone pair of korawakkas who make an awful squawking noise if I approach too close to warn me to stay away from the eggs that have recently been laid.
In a short while Chandra will appear to let me know that breakfast is ready – scrambled eggs with just the right amount of chopped onions and green chillies, kadai paan to be eaten with butter and polsambol, a large piece of fresh papaw and a steaming cup of strong tea.
I am enjoying this day of leisure – un dia de descanso as the Spanish like to call it – because I have now reached the age when I do not have to do a regular job.
No longer do I have to wake up to the sound of a shrill alarm to get myself ready and set off to work by 7 o’clock to earn my daily bread.
It used to be a routine that had ruled my life for nearly fifty years – half a century, if one looks at it more carefully – and although I had got used to it and my honest labours have provided me and my family with a reasonably comfortable life, I must admit that I am happy that I have been able to give it away.
Admittedly this is the evening of my life. How fast has dawned this eventide!
I realise that my twilight is here and the shadows are gradually lengthening for me. The days of old have vanished – they only remain in the dreams and memories of things that once were and are caressed by the smiles of yesterday.
Yet, although I do not know how long I have until night falls, at this stage I am happy that I have been privileged to be granted this period of twilight before the inevitable darkness takes over.
I have often wondered – more frequently I must confess as the time for it becomes closer – what will happen to me when I die.
Do we leave this earth when death comes to us to ascend to some heaven above the sky where we are reunited with our loved ones (and perhaps some not so loved ones)? Is there a Paradise that awaits us just because we have been good and faithful servants to a god who wants to reward us – or do we end up at some different destination if we have not?
Do we simply leave our earthly bodies behind so that our spirit can be reborn in some other realm or another universe, with our accumulated deeds and misdeeds dictating in which particular realm or world we enter life again? Do we simply go out like a candle flame and enter into nothingness or non-existence?
I don’t know the answer to this question – and I am sure nobody else does either.
All I know for certain is that when we die, we live on for a while in the hearts and minds of those who loved us – those who cared for us while we were alive and perhaps those whom we nurtured or helped in some way along our path. They might think of us and remember us and even wish us well – and when they themselves are no more and there is nobody left who remembers us, then even these memories of us will die.
But these are reflections for another day.
For the present though let me just live in the moment and enjoy the early morning atmosphere, watching the birds and their antics and listening to the sounds of this rural morning.
And I shall wait in pleasant anticipation for the mouth-watering breakfast that I know is being prepared for me.
It feels so good to be alive!