I recently read Kate Grenvilles The Secret River, an important and poignant novel, that reaches into the fraught edges between Australian colonists and the countrys first peoples. Towards the end of the book, I read something that echoed my experience with Uncle Bob. The storys main character, Thornhill, notices the relentless struggle of his life, and recognises a confronting paradox: the Aboriginals around his land did not seem to have to work hard to be happy, free, proud and thriving.
They spent time every day filling their dishes and catching the creatures that hung from their belts. But afterwards they seemed to have plenty of time left for sitting by their fires talking and laughing and stroking the chubby limbs of their babies. He contrasted this with how hard he and his family toiled, from sun up to sun down, Only when the sun slipped down behind the ridge did they take their ease, and by then no one seemed to feel much like fun and games. Certainly no one seemed to have energy to spare for making a baby laugh.
Time to make a baby laugh. Let’s make a difference. Let’s take the time.