May 7, 2019
Every once in a while, I have to take a break from all the stuff that I spend most of my day thinking about, like what’s for dinner, do I really have to go to the gym today, and writing interminably long commentaries on current issues that Carole claims are…well, interminably long.
So, while prowling around our new wonderful library in Winston-Salem, I was delighted to discover the newest Alexander McCall Smith’s continuing saga of the “No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.” Mma Ramotswe is one of my favorite fictional characters, and Smith writes with such simple elegance that envy is among the emotions he evokes. Naturally, I could hardly wait to escape into his latest novel.
That is, until I read the blurb on the inside cover: “In this latest installment of the beloved and best-selling No. I Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe finds herself running for office – to her dismay.”
And mine. Is there no escape from the constant drumbeat of politics?!
Nonetheless, as I settled down into my reading position, I opened the book and within the first two pages I was once again pulled in by Mma Ramotswe and her wisdom, regardless of the plot line. So, since she and Smith had a lot of wisdom to dispense, I decided to share a tiny bit of it with you and hope I am not violating copyright laws too seriously. It appears on page 193 and I offer it because it demonstrates the writing skills of Smith and the simple, logical truth of a value system to live by:
“The sun came up, at first a curved slice of golden red, and then a shimmering, glowing ball, lifting itself free of the line of tree-tops, light, effortless, floating…above me, thought Mma Ramotswe. Most of us, at least, trying to do our best, trying to make something of life, hoping to get through the day without feeling too unhappy, or uncomfortable, or hungry – which was what just about everybody hopes for, whether they were big and important, or small and insignificant. She sighed. If only people could keep that in their minds – if they could remember that the people they met during the day had all the same hopes and fears that they had, then there would be so much less conflict and disagreement in this world. It only people remember that, they would be kinder to others – and kindness, Mma Ramotswe believed, was the most important thing there was. She knew that in the depths of her being; she knew it.”
© 2019 WD Publishing