I was treated to an amazing experience this morning. I drove into town, on my 'bike, as usual, for my swim, at the Long Street Baths. It's a magnificent, clear, bright sunny morning, with Table Mountain sharp and clear, after the recent, blessèd rain.
As I walked into the changing-rooms, empty, as you'd expect on a holiday, I was transfixed by the beautiful sound of a hymn being sung in the pool-hall. As you'd expect, the acoustics of a large municipal swimming pool are impressive.
There were about twenty people, around the shallow-end, singing mindfully, eyes closed, with close harmonies, and extemporized descants, over a confident, joyful, rhythmic and unhurried rendition - every word clearly annunciated. My mother once said that the only thing that ever made her a little homesick, for the valleys of Wales, was the sound of a Zulu congregation.
There's no need for a choir, in Wales, as in Africa, the congregation expect, and are expected, to carry the sound entire.
It was, of course, quite unaccompanied by any instrument.
I swam, as they sang, together with two other fortunate swimmers.
It was a mass, full-immersion baptism - if it can be a 'mass baptism' with only half a dozen baptizees.
One, by one, as we swam, they six were lowered into the water, then, emerging, clapped by all, and photographed by flashing cell-phones.
Smiles of delight welcoming them back to the dry poolside.
Vanity can't have been discussed much, during their catechism, because one baptizee wrapped a large, green plastic bag about her head, so as not to spoil her hairdo.
As I changed back, and got ready to return home, the closing hymn was echoing through the changing-rooms, that, for that moment, were the cloisters of heaven.