Posted by: Catherine Weston | February 20, 2009

On cleaning windows

The view - sunrise

The view - sunrise

At this time of year a strong wind whips up very quickly hereabouts, especially in the afternoons and evenings. It’s known as the Southeaster, or ‘Cape Doctor’. There is always a sea breeze of some sort to keep us pleasantly cool, but when the southeaster blows it can howl around our apartment block at almost gale force. We have learned to keep doors closed or securely hooked! Capetonians complain about the wind but it does blow away pollution on a regular basis, leaving the air crystal clear. The wind deposits a sandy film on our windows so that on the day we arrived all we could see of our wonderful sea view was a blur. Charmaine, our helpful supervisor (= concierge) explained to us that Wiza, the maintenance man, cleans the windows of all the flats (there are about 25) a rotational basis every month. As the windows need cleaning at least every week, and preferably more often, in the meantime we just do it ourselves. Fortunately a little balcony makes this is easy, despite our being on the fifth floor.

It occurred to me that cleaning our windows provides a metaphor for the Christian life…or our time here…or both. The world throws all sorts of distractions at us which, over time stick to us and obscure our view. We need regular washing with God’s perspective. I guess that provides a major reason for why we are here. We’re in one of those special times apart when our vision can be clarified and focussed. Please pray with us that we will see God’s way ahead for us clearly.

South African facts: having mentioned the Big Five last week, we thought you should know that they each feature on bank notes. We hadn’t really noticed until a taxi driver referred to them in that way. A10 rand note (about 70 pence) has a picture of a rhino, 20 rand has the elephant, 50 rand the lion, 100 rand the buffalo and 200 rand the leopard.

Definitions: A ‘Kitchen tea’ is a party for a forthcoming bride when her girlfriends bring presents to stock her kitchen with utensils. So it’s like a hen party with a practical purpose!

Next week we’ll introduce you to more random facts and language notes.


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