Some Days Are Diamonds

Shadows continually cast by some dissipate in the timely light beamed by unexpected special hearts of friendship; such is the wonder of the human experience, and the fortune to know such happiness.

Joseph and I were waiting for our claypot dishes on a pavement table outside a small
eatery in Eastwood in north-west of the greater Sydney area. At a neighbouring table, the teapot was sliding down on what was obviously an uneven bricked floor. The distinguished looking lady at that table was undecided on what to have for this Saturday lunchtime and was discussing the board menu with her nephew.

I could not help intrejecting to them that the menu they were planning for was only valid between 2 and 5pm. It was 1230pm. We next introduced ourselves; Paik Ling was the Principal of a well known girls school before she retired and with her nephew, Michael, they had come for an easy outdoor al fresco eat out on a sunny May day in a suburb not far from theirs. Both of them were interesting to chat with, and it was good to see an aunt being taken out for a meal. All four of us ahd to be patient before our dishes came - what I ordered had rice that was too hard but the other dish was tasty.

Whilst partaking my food, I saw through a glass partition of the eatery and realised that another lady was waving to me from inside. She then came out to greet me - lo and behold, it was Louisa, from way back when, at least 20 years ago when we last met. What wonderful hallmark moments I had - it was just by chance that Joseph and I picked the eatery for a meal.

On an autumn Mothers Day, Ee-lane and Ray had prepared a sumptious Thai home cooked dinner in Parramatta. The spicy and tasty spread provided much needed warmth inside once we had sampled through the several offerings. This ranged from minced pork salad to a fish marinated with the subtlelities of Thai flavours. We sat at a long table in a much loved house with a heritage front in a town that was founded not long after the first British settlement at the Rocks in Sydney.

One Saturday, after dropping by at a house for sale in the hills above Austinmer, I followed Shane and Danielle with their family to Thirroul Beach. Both the sky and ocean had hues of blue, different but complementary. There was a local surf carnival for under 18s going on on the clean powdery sand beach, but the Thirroul pool had been drained completely for the arrival of winter. The girls, Bridget and Nieve, took to the seagulls, ice blocks and outdoors naturally and eagerly. The bit of ocean wind did not affect the most amicable temperature. For a while, I was reminded that this is life as it should be spent, as for waht we work hard for.

I had not dropped by Marta's house for six months, short of the one attempt when she was away in Sydney that morning. So I thought I better visit her. I brought along a small serving of teatime cakes and Marta made tea and coffee to warm up our chat around her dining table. I could see her neighbour's washing alternately getting wet and dried by the chnaging weather and periodically passing showers. The expanse of Lake Illawarra could be viewed behind me, but we both enjoyed this catch-up conversation so much it did not bother us where we were. Marta and I had kept communicating by phone or email, but nothing is as good as talking in person.

On these recent cool mornings when my neighbourhood moves into winter mode,nothing makes it more easy to jump out of bed and get going, than the prospect of seeing Nathan and Scott at my routine coffee pick up on working days. More than the hot beverages they offer, it's the welcoming and bositerous manner in which they greet me, not so much as a customer, but as a friend. They wake up earlier than me, in the pre-dawn darkness, to make sure they are there when I arrive - and their absolutely inspiring attitude and demeanour makes me think - each of them deserves an opportunity to pursue and realise their personal dreams and passion for their exciting life-long adventure ahead, no matter what it is in their hearts right now.

My cousin Susan and her husband Boo Ann had made lovingly wrapped rice dumplings for the recent Dragon Boat Festival and gave me some. I sit at my dining table admiring the wraps, reminding me of their iconic cultural and philosophical significance. Some days are indeed diamonds!


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