Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Miracle at Speedy Motors: Tea and Rain

"Oh, the thinks you can think!"
~Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991)

I wonder if Dr. Seuss was referring to one of the benefits of drinking tea? There's nothing quite like a pot of tea to set your thoughts in order, to help discover new ways of thinking about things and solutions to troubling matters. In The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of books, tea helps the detectives and other Batswana think things through and come up with the best solutions to perplexing cases and problems; perhaps that is why they partake in this tradition so frequently, "to think better thinks".

Tea cup and tissues by my side, I've just finished reading the ninth and last book in this series, The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith. I 'm sad to depart from Botswana but am very satisfied with the ending of the book and series, which leaves readers hopeful and optimistic, as does the miracle of rain in this sun-parched nation:

"Two days passed--two days in which more rain fell, great cloudbursts of rain, drenching the length and breadth of Botswana. People held their breath in gratitude, hardly daring to speak of the deluge lest it should suddenly stop and the dryness return. The rivers, for long months little more than dusty beds of rust-colored sand, appeared again, filled to overflowing in some cases, twisting snakes of mud-brown water moving across the plains. . . . The bush, a dessicated brown before the storms, turned green overnight, as the shoots of dormant plants thrust their way through the soil. Flowers followed, tiny yellow flowers, spreading like a dusting of gold across the land. Ground vines sent out tendrils, melons would grow in abundance later on, as an offering, an expiation for the barrenness of the dry months that had gone before."
~The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Alexander McCall Smith

The tea cup is half-full.

Botswana Day is celebrated on September 30th, the day that this nation, which has achieved great economic growth within the past forty years, became independent from the British.

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