The past long weekend gave me the opportunity to take some time a get out along some familiar backroads to relax with my family. These moments remind me that there is so much nearby that I tend to take for granted. If I spent a fortune to visit far away lands with closed eyes I would be wasting my time and money. By being aware of what is here I can see all there is in the world. It is what it is.Zest Cafe
One of our stops was at the Pig and Whistle Inn in Bathurst to drop off some paintings that will be on display at the Inn. Speaking to Gavin, the owner, I was struck by his enthusiasm for the Inn. It happens to be oldest licensed pub in South Africa. The inn dates back to 1832 and was founded by Thomas Hartley, an 1820 settler himself. Another famous settler who owned the Inn was Jeremiah Goldswain. I may mention my own family connection with an uncle who owned the Inn for some twenty-four years. It is a beautiful old building and a real treasure inside too. Stop by the next time you venture through Bathurst.
Enthusiasm and attention to what is really important are the essential ingredients for enjoying your work. I could see this in the way the Pig and Whistle is run. Later on as we ventured to Port Alfred to deliver more paintings at Zest Cafe in Van Der Riet street. The idea loving what you do in the moment was also apparent at Zest Cafe. This busy little courtyard cafe never fails to satisfy my family. It is clear from the number of visitors on Saturday that we are not the only ones who love the cafe. Go along there and enjoy a great lunch and check out the art too.
After a day of travelling and making stops here and there it was welcome relief to spend some time in the afternoon and watch the sun setting over the eastern cape hills. As the sun went down with the sky turning orange the winter chill suddenly came back. It was time to light a fire and watch the first stars come out. Moments to savour.
I wonder how often I have missed the glory of the present moment by trying to look into the future or churning over something that happened in the past. Far too many! The beauty of art is that it captures my attention fully for however long I paint. Soon after I stop, if I am not aware, the thinking starts again to fill in the silence with chatter. That is what we should guard against - idle thoughts. Stay in the moment. Enjoy the fine work of others and contribute with your own work from time to time.
There is a universe on our doorstep.