thoughts in the mornings

The Deliciousness of Sundays

She had long been a fan of Sundays, feeling it to be a time when one could just slow down a bit more than usual. These days, she was slower than she had ever been and yet she still had enough of her own inner pace to warrant needing to slow down sometimes. Sunday was usually that day.

As a child growing up in the 70s, Sundays had been a torturous affair of reluctant church attendance followed by hours of boredom. Her father had played cricket for a local team and on the days they were playing 'at home', the whole family would get to go to the park and spend the day at the grounds. Those Sundays were special.

Her father had been captain of the team and that meant, in addition to organising fixtures and making sure the team had the right kit or 'gears' as he called them, he he was also responsible for 'the teas.' This meant providing a huge pile of sandwhiches with various fillings and vast urns of hot water for the teas and coffees and the woman recalled how she and her little sister would be roped in by their mum to help with the preparation.

They was a system. Loaves of sliced white bread, each slice given a smear of Blue Band margarine and either a slice of cheese or some egg mayonnaise. On some days, when her mother was up to it, there would be tandoori chicken, rice, perhaps even a whole pot of curry. There was no pork because her dad was a loosely practicing Muslim, as were many of the team but there was always beer, because somehow that was allowed. She had loved being involved as child and loved spending the day at the park with all the other children who came with their families to watch the cricket. The children rarely watched the game. It seemed rather dull and so they would explore the park, hang out in the old clubhouse changing rooms and make up adventures of their own. She loved it best when her cousins came but that wasn't often because their dad played for a faraway team in a land called Loughton. It was before the M25 had been built and so Essex really did feel like day trip away. Mobile phones hadn't arrived in the world yet and there was still privacy to do the things kids do.

Looking back, she could see what a luxury it was for whole groups of people to be able to gather every Sunday to play cricket in a local park and have tea together in the break. The children were safe enough and there was no concern about being stabbed by rivals or being snatched by a 'bad man.' Her dad had been captain of the team for years and though she hadn't appreciated it at the time, she could see know that it had taken a huge amount of work and coordination to build a team of cricketers made of brown skinned men in the 1970s when the National Front were on the rise and Cool Britannia was still a way off.

Some 40 odd years later, it felt good to remember the freedoms that she didn't realise she had at the time. Perhaps it was because she was a little less sure than people had realised when she was small. She had spent a lot of time trying to work out why things were as they were and she could see as she got older that the sudden death of her baby brother had essentially shaped her family's path.

Her parents had sometimes been distant, sometimes depressed, sometimes in full party mode. They forged themselves a path through the pain and though the woman had struggled as a child, she could feel now a new understanding of her parents. All people are struggling with something at some point she thought. There's nothing new in that. What is new is the lack of time that people have to spend together and this seemed to her the greatest of tragedies.

She decided that she would consciously spend her time with someone she hadn't seen for a while. She wasn't sure who. She wasn't sure when but she felt that time was the most precious gift and she didn't want to waste any of it.