I open the door to my backyard and step out into the bright sun. I walk over to the clothesline and place down my big pink bucket full of laundry. I squint; it is too sunny but a bit shadier where I am standing. As I start putting out the clothes to dry I remember this wonderful “In two minutes” prompt which I came across on Rachna Says. The prompt was to quietly observe things as they happen in 2 minutes. All inspired by the delightful account of Rachna’s peaceful two minutes, I stop the laundry drying business and quietly begin observing my surroundings.
I can hear the neighbour’s washing machine at work. It is constantly on. I wonder how they have so many clothes to wash. Then it dawns on me that there are 6 people in their family apart from the domestic helps. They are Omanis and I have seen their women in lovely abayas and scarves, so there must be plenty to wash. I look at their backyard. It is green and pleasant to look at. There is a lime tree bearing fresh green limes, a beautiful sorrel tree and a papaya plant.
Near their compound wall is a lush creeper in full bloom and beyond that is another villa where a European family lives. There is a tall plant near the window full of bright yellow bell-shaped flowers. Suddenly my "two minutes of silent observation" turns into a bird watching session as a flight of various birds lands on the flowered tree and creeper.
There are sparrows, a tiny glossy black bird with a shiny streak of royal blue on its head, and two brown birds which I believe belong to the pigeon family. Another one presently drifts in stylishly. It is small, bright green, has a long beak and clearly knows she is way too pretty. She creates a flutter, showing off her wings and flies away to the opposite side. I turn around to follow her movement.
She is presently perched on the gate of the villa opposite ours where a Filipino family lives. They are seldom seen outside. I suddenly feel very “fancy” for living in such a multicultural neighbourhood. The little birdie goes her way and then I hear the noon Azhan from the nearby mosque. The muezzin’s voice rings loud and clear and there is a sense of peace.
I realize I have stood there for more than 2 minutes. I make a mental note that I should do this more often and then resume with the work I had left unfinished.