I grew up in the “platteland” (country side) of South Africa. My grandmother lives close by and I spend most of my weekends at her house. She is a simple woman. I remember planting beans with her, helping her in her vegetable garden, making tea on the fire in the field and fishing in the neighboring farm’s dam. She spent all her time working on the farm, looking after her sheep, cattle, geese and chickens, not to mention all her cats and dogs. She never spent much time in town, let alone gone to the city.
She turned 87 on the 30th of November, and on the Friday before her birthday my brother took her to my aunt’s house in the suburbs of Cape town to celebrate her birthday with our family. I arrived early and went with my aunt to a nearby shopping mall. We didn’t want to leave my grandmother alone at home, so we took her with us. I sat with her in a coffee shop whilst my aunt did some last minute grocery shopping. She was quiet, just looking at all the people passing our table. We sat like that for a while. Then she looked at me with a completely astonished look on her face, her eyes opened a little wider that usual and then said:
“I sometimes wonder, ‘Where did God get all of these faces?'”