Impressions

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Connecticut

 

On the eve of travelling back to South Africa after 3 weeks in the United States, my impressions coalesced into the following:

 

In Connecticut, the morning appears with more subtlety than in South Africa, like a turn of the rheostat by gentle degrees where the sun is far less visible. It was only on the morning of the 7th that I first noticed morning bird calls;

 

In the quiet, you can hear the falling snow as it hits the leaves on the ground, as you would hear sugar granules falling on wax paper, or like snap-crackle-and-pop if you had to incline your ear to the cereal bowl;

Semi-rural Pennsylvania is incredibly peaceful, especially in Lancaster County amongst the Amish and Mennonites;

New York City is iconic and every bit of what you’d expect from watching television and movies;

The typical New Yorker (if I could presume to disassociate the locals from tourists) seldom seems to be smiling as he or she is on the way from A to B in the city;

 

New York City is jammed with people and has more police than I’ve ever seen in one place; sadly I did not see any cops eating donuts;

 

I saw a lot of Christian sign-boards and references, especially in Pennsylvania;

 

Hartford in Connecticut has a contemporary Christian radio station (K-Love; WCCC; 106.9 MHz) that became a favourite;

 

I was fortunate be a brief part of a solid church in Connecticut and attended services where I met very interesting and very real people who fed us with solid meat and fellowshipped with us:

 

Paul and Karen, Roger and Gloria, Dave, Karen, Tony, Mike, Floyd and Marsha, Annie, Thomas and Gene;

 

I got to meet a real live WW2 veteran and spoke with local Connecticut Yankees about politics and sports;

 

I was a South African in the United States who felt intimately welcome in the country; America is big-hearted;

 

A Twitter post by Grant R. Castleberry stood out to me as a start for the year 2020:

 

January 6, 2020:

 

“True greatness is faithfulness over a long period of time;

 

Faithfulness to God

Faithfulness to your spouse

Faithfulness to your calling

Faithfulness to your country

Faithfulness to your family.”

 

I want to be faithful to these things, to press on in the race of faith, to be a disciplined soldier, to stand for the Truth and spread the Gospel. To be faithful to God, my spouse, my place in the world and my community.

 

For the time in the United States, not a single person I met had anything to say on the subject of race whatsoever, a refreshing change from the race-obsessed South African government who function as opinion leaders to thousands of loud political minions;

 

Faithfulness to my country? That’s a hard one. I love my fellow South Africans but almost half of everything in this country is adulterated with racial politics, corruption and violence. I stopped believing in this government’s ability to be responsible a long time ago. And yet, I was born in this place and that for a purpose.

 

Ready or not, 2020 is here; all I want is to walk with Him in this year in all things.

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