Mosselbay is a memory plucked from the mists of time. I don't know who my companions were and I have no idea what I was doing there. If the memory of the new blue jean stains wasn't so clear, I'd be almost tempted to think I imagined the whole thing. I had new jeans on that day. It was hot. I was sweaty. The dye from the jeans stained my skin.
Whichever way I look at it, I learned a valuable lesson that day, one I'd basically forgotten, one I find myself needing to remember.
I don't remember who was with us, as I've mentioned, but I do remember the black woman. We were walking with heavy (to my young mind) bags along a long (probably wasn't long, but I was young), winding road up a hill. I must have been complaining about the heat, the weight of the bags and the distance.
The woman turned to me and very patiently explained that taking long with a task does not make the task easier; that the slower we walked, the longer we'd have to carry the bags. The bags would not get any lighter. Au contraire, they would get progressively heavier.
Ah, if I could just remember that - so often I procrastinate or dawdle when carrying a 'load'. How many times don't we put off doing an odious task, as though putting it off will make the task more pleasant? How many times don't we drag our feet with a project thinking it will become any easier? How many times don't I find myself trudging in the heat with my bag of books? Wouldn't it be cleverer to just move quickly, as the quicker I move, the sooner I can get to shade or put my bag down? Simple logic that so often escapes me.
In the end, we arrived at our destination and were refreshed. I now know the memory isn't a figment of my imagination. I was admiring some photos on her dresser and ornaments. There was one ornament, a tall, slender lady in pale blue and white. This lady was so elegant. She gave me that ornament. I still had that ornament up to our move to Brazil. Wonder where it is now.
I still don't know who the woman was or why we were with her, but I do remember the ornament and the lesson.