Our memories are woven into the essence of who we are just like our DNA. Some memories are fleeting, while some stick and go with you wherever you may journey to. Even when you are far away from the source of such memory, little things bring thoughts of them flooding you with bittersweet nostalgia.
I’ve found myself easily moved to tears in the past few weeks and coincidentally, I’ve been running into things that quickly transport me to my carefree days of childhood when I was under the loving protection of my parents and didn’t have to worry about finances, World politics and if the World’s going on a one-way ticket to hell in a handbasket.
Here a few of the things I’ve seen in recent weeks that transport me back to my growing up years in the close-knit campus community of The University of Nigeria Nsukka.
I saw this Tortoise at a nature garden that I visited recently and that brought back different memories of folktales of The Wise Tortoise that my Grandma told us on balmy evenings as we peeled cassava or shredded our harvest of corn. In my hometown, the Tortoise is respected and roams free. It wasn’t strange to see them trudge along the bush path, stopping to nibble at foliage as they went about their business.
I saw this shaker in a musical store and couldn’t resist taking a photo and shaking it a bit. It reminds me of days of traditional, energetic dancing with my childhood friends and shaking these musical gourd in rhythm with the drums and other homegrown instruments. We call it ‘ishaka’ and practically every mama owned one. Sometimes, especially during festive season, our dancing efforts were rewarded with pennies from appreciating adults.
Abundant blooms of Bougainvillea brings back thoughts of my childhood home. The perimeters of our compound was trimmed with Bougainvillea and The Queen of the Night flower that emitted its signature, beautiful, musky fragrance that hung in the nights’ air.
Ha! I chuckled when I saw this grandma telephone. My parents had a cream one and my dear dad kept it locked so that we wouldn’t run up bills for him. Back then to own a telephone was expensive, novelty and for a select few. We (my siblings and I) outwitted my poor dad (sorry daddy) by learning a trick on how to tap the numbers on the phone to call our friends. Now, I wonder if my dad ever knew.
I walked past these flowers two days ago,I noticed the unfurling buds,I took a photo and went on my way.
I walked past the same flowers yesterday,I saw that they had bloomed prettily,I took another photo and went on my way.
I went on my way with a thought about these simple blooms.I recalled the phrase "bloom where you are planted."It didn't matter how scorching the sun has been;it didn't matter how dry the season is in the desert;
the plant didn't have to go to the Tropics to try and grow;
it stood where it was planted and brought forth its beauty!
What matters is that as long as you push the boundaries of comfort where you are,In your time and in due season, you'll bloom wherever you are.