This morning early, the phone rang and I ran to answer it. It only rings 6 times before cutting off and 6 times are a couple of times too short to be honest, and we haven’t worked out how to lengthen the process. Sometimes, when we don’t want to answer, its a blessing, but never very early in the morning or very late at night. Calls at those times can be bad news.
Anyway, first time I got there and there was a huff and a puff or two then the line went dead.
A call centre I thought, or a mobile in some early bird’s pocket taking matters into its own hands.
I decided to get dressed in the feeble morning light and was just stepping into under garments when the phone rang again. Again I ran to answer it, fettered ever so slightly by being half in, half out of said undergarments.
This time I heard what sounded like a pig grunting and then a voice I know well. A friend calling on his mobile from East Timor, just for a chat. He lives in a monastic community, living on not very much and is happier than ever before in his life. The pig, explained, had hurtled by his ankles whilst he crossed the dirt road to buy peanut butter.
There are pigs in the streets, he said, as if it was quite normal, which it is for him.
We talked for an hour, me shivering, him bartering for peanut butter, pigs running by, and I said its raining again here.
Thank God, he said, for rain. We have had months of starving drought, and today, it rained.
It reminded me of a trip to Africa, during such a dry time, and walking into the streets into the first rains – people coming out of their homes to dance and laugh and hold up their arms to feel the healing drops on their parched skins.