What I Will Never Again Take For Granted.
These are chilling times that we are living in- one might be forgiven for thinking it is a science fiction movie playing in real time.
But humans are resilient beings. Our spirit can take beatings and still emerge proud and strong. We will overcome this, by the Grace of God.
But there is always a side effect – a positive one- to any calamity or tragedy that befall us. I, for once have learned from all this madness, never again to take things for granted.
Hugs and Kisses
I have learned to never ever again take for granted the hugs and kisses of my loved ones. I ache to hug my family; to feel close to them. Physical touch is so powerful for connection and intimacy. Hugs are the best comforters, the best support to give in times of trouble and sadness but now we must keep our distance. For our own sakes.
A smile and a handshake
The smile and handshake of a friend, a colleague, a neighbour. There would be days when we would not hear from our neighbours and think nothing of it. When they are home we are out. If we are lucky, sometimes we would pass each other on the corridor or the stairs.
Habit is instinctive- you immediately want to reach out and show love and respect then you pull back your hand. May this tribulation end by God’s Will- I will go knocking on my neighbours’ doors, greeting them and shaking their hands until they throw me out….
I have learned never to take for granted the freedom to go outside. To take my morning walk, to take in the sights and sounds of life and living. To inhale the smell of old books at the library and new ones at the bookshop; the knock of the ironmonger’s hammer on hot metal ; the loud honking of public service vehicles, children playing outside (which in itself is very rare to hear these days) the mama mboga calling out “muhogo, nazi na maembe” as she moves around from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
Coffee and Colleagues
I will never again take for granted lunch with a friend; coffee with a colleague; a gathering of family for a joyous event with laughter and good food. I will not take for granted dressing up for a wedding; hugging the mother of the bride in congratulation or going to give condolences to those whose loved ones have left them; placing a comforting hand on their shoulder.
Never again will I take for granted the ability and freedom to travel, to see places that are strange and exotic. I will never take for granted the matatu, the tuk tuk or the simple family car. I will forever redefine dangerous from being big, visible and armed with a weapon to ……..anything.
Anything can be dangerous. But I am keeping the faith. We all must keep the faith and keep fanning the flames of hope in our hearts.
The Mighty Warrior
I will never again look at the humble soap in the same way. I will respect it as it sits in its place next to the sponges and the brushes and the tissues. It has taught me that soldiers come in all shapes and sizes and that valour can come from someone you least expect it to. The one thing in our fight against this- ‘thing that shall not be named ‘ other than our own sobriety, calmness, common sense, faith in the Almighty, is this saponified piece from our domestic staples.
The Prayer Oh the Prayer
Lastly. And here is where my heart suffers the most. I will never ever again take for granted the sounds of congregational prayer. I will never again pass a masjid as I go about my life and take for granted the rows of men standing, shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe; no difference between the employer and the employee; the wealthy and the pauper; the ruler and the ruled. I will never take for granted my boys taking ablution and leaving for the masjid. I will never take for granted the Haram filled with hundreds of thousands of worshippers.
But such are we humans- our memories are short. May this experience mould us into better, more conscientious, God fearing people; concerned about others as we are about ourselves.
If that happens then this “thing that shall not be named” shall have done more good than harm.