Tuesday, December 16

The Haze Speaks

For as long as I can remember (I am sure I have made reference to this before on this blog), the sight of the haze that signaled the arrival of the ‘harmattan’ season in Nigeria meant something bad to me. I have been known to use the word ‘depressed’ to describe how I feel. But for the past year or two things have changed a bit. I have learned to let go of the discomfort, and whatever it was that made me feel like something that was yet to begin was already over! But I ramble.

A few days ago I wandered to my window, and behold there was the haze! I thought this was a good thing because the weather this year has been weird to say the least. There was practically no demarcation between the seasons; it rained almost all year round in Lagos! 

Secondly, as I stood there staring out, it occurred to me that I didn't feel the usual discomfort or restlessness. And for once I searched within myself to dig out the reason why this period always made me feel the way it did; not that anything tragic happened in my past to trigger the feeling, I believe it is more a collection of the memories of a time when life was all innocence, when there were no pressures, when the simplest thing ever was to just be, to live, to be happy and contented, to go to school, come back home, repeat it all again the following day. But all that changed fast when life happened.

I believe I had an epiphany standing at that window though. I thought to myself, this haze is a welcome sight. I see change! I immediately wanted to do many different things; I bought a Christmas tree for the first time ever and spent time with my sister decorating it, I just stand there and grin each time I see the tree. I plan to cook up a storm (errrr, I shall avoid doing the actual cooking though) on Christmas morning, spend the day with my sisters, binge on everything eatable and drinkable. Laugh! Be happy. Why? Because the sight of The Haze is now a reminder (like the rainbow) of promise, that today is better than yesterday; a reason to consciously seize the moment, revel in it, and not care what comes next, and really, that the haze does not necessarily have to mean obscurity. 

Granted, sometimes the cold and the heat may bring discomfort, or the rain may make our day seem drab, but we have a choice to bring in warmth and color, and for those who know me, I am all about colors!

Let the season speak to you, it has me. I am dancing!!

Be. Free. Oh.

Photo courtesy Goggle.com 

Thursday, September 18

Take a Minute

Somewhere in Mauritius - picture taken off Google.

I came here to say two things:

First, I had to post this photo again (it has featured somewhere on this blog in the past) because it gives me a sense of peace. Seeing all that green and blue assures me again of life. And every time I am experiencing anything painful, like taking an injection), I disappear into this scenery and the pain is ...gone!

Secondly, I realized that the reason why I take so long to post a blog is because I have reduced this space to a place where everything I write is/must (be) serious. No more laughter, no jokes because the world is burning. Because there is pain. Because evil abound.

But the fact is that these things are expected. They have been predicted. And as much as it is painful to know, to experience, life must not be allowed to pass us by. In fact, all the more reason to live and laugh, and to appreciate each day that we are able to walk out of our homes, and walk back in. And to not dare to be ungrateful for that.

So, like Emily Freeman of Chatting at the Sky loves to say, 'take a minute, and let your soul breathe' and I add: 'allow the beauty and peace of that photo sink in and wash over you.'

Be free oh.

Wednesday, August 20

...and Zouzou Mused.

The world has hardly been still since I was last here.
What, with the plane crashes, Ukraine crisis, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, ISIS, oh, lets not forget the little town of Ferguson in the US, to mention but a few.
And no, I definitely did not forget Ebola!

So which should we talk about? I have kept away because I didn't know which issue to muse on! They were happening so fast! But that we do not want to talk about something does not make it go away.
So I took my own advice on passion, and remembering the reason you started something in the first place, and to 'just do it.'

So. Ebola. 
When Patrick first landed Nigeria and the news of Ebola broke, my first thought was, 'Lord, we really could do without Ebola right now!' Isn't battling Boko Haram enough? 
And then the nightmare began. And people have been dying. Death within a few short weeks, family thorn apart, medical systems stretched to the limit.

But since you and I are here, what are we doing? What is our position on this matter?
Are we taking it seriously enough to talk about it, practice and really get into the physical (and spiritual) things we need to do to curb the spread? Or are we nonchalant as usual, and flaring up when someone dares to send a broadcast or forward an email on the matter? 

We owe it to ourselves and to our neighbor (yes, those people we notoriously do not care about, the 'other people' who are not us!) to be safe. Be safe! Talk about Ebola in its entirety, terrible as it is, but also about the hope of recovery, the need to curb it. I was reading this article this morning and it made me tearful. I don't know if we really, truly grasp the enormity of this outbreak. And if we do, being hygienic should be non-negotiable! And if that involves not shaking hands or hugging for you, then by all means stick to your guns! Do not let people make you feel uncomfortable about your decision. 

On the other hand, we should also remember that there is hope as people have recovered. We can cling to this, speak about it, and be encouraged. 
My sister (who lives outside Nigeria) has been saying 'Ebola will be sorry it came to Nigeria.' But that can only happen if you and I actively engage ourselves and those around us in fighting it. Let us 'join hands' together to make Ebola sorry!

I hope that a high level of personal hygiene is what this experience leaves with us when it is finally over. And it will be over.

Be free oh (to spread hope, not fear).

Tuesday, April 15

We Weep Again...

It starts from the little things.

The killings and bombings and terrible evil happening in Nigeria today (I do not want to talk about the world!) did not just start over night, a myriad of issues culminated into this religious, ethnic and political divide that we see and experience. We talk about unity but no one really wants to unite; we each want to exist, separate from our neighbour; we prefer to be insular as a people, a church, an organization, even the government! How is that possible when we have such a great and diverse culture? How can we not want to be our neighbour’s keeper? How did we become so self-involved?

When did we get to the point where what happens to the other person is not our business? How can we walk past when our neighbour is being threatened? Since when did it become normal to kill people, and children and babies, and we read about it and move on; business as usual? When did we become this stone-hearted people who no longer feel?  And even if or when we do, we do nothing but "condemn in strong terms?" Except for those who were born in the last few decades, this was not the sort of world we grew up in! And how is it we never passed on the togetherness, closeness, village-raising-the child spirit to the next generation? Why is it we have left the soul and the future of our country in the hands of people who do not, in the first instance, have our interests at heart? How is it that we complain bitterly and cry, and yet commit the same mistakes come the next election? How is it we are like fans outside the football field, experts at how the ball should be maneuvered?? If you could do better why are you outside the field??

People say only a revolution will cleanse this nation, my question is: are you ready to lead it? Talk is so cheap. The operative word in what is happening in our nation today is selfishness. No one wants to be responsible for the other person, or to put the other person first. Those in government do not feel that they are leading a people whose interests should be their daily preoccupation, no! They are in government for personal gain.

And for those of us who sit pretty in our comfortable homes, our states and our offices thinking that these things are far removed from us...hmmm...what goes round comes round. This is a together fight, don’t be found outside the fray; jump in, and in whatever form you can!

I wish our friends and families and colleagues and neighbours who died in the Nyanya blast could trust that we who remain would fight against the evil that befell them...but alas!! Alas!! Our attention will soon be taken away by something else. Give it a day or two. We cannot live like this. We CANT.

Be Free oh!

(Yes, I resurrected myself!)

Monday, February 3

What do you Smell Like?

Nope, I am not here to talk about body odour! But about candles.

I could not believe that the scented candles that smells so nice can emit such hideous odor when you blow them out.

Before I learnt the right way to put them off (pinch the wick between two wet fingers is one way), I had taken to moving them into the bathroom; hold my breath, blow them out, then quickly shut the door so the air elsewhere in the house is not polluted.

It occurred to me that such is our lives sometimes. The most loving, lovable and pleasant person can become obnoxious with just one negative comment or action. The bible tells me that I smell like the field that the Lord has blessed. My bad days, my mauvaise humeur (bad moods), while I may feel entitled to them sometimes, should be locked up around my personal corner; I should not inflict and impose them upon other people by transferring the aggression. I have no right to represent my Father to them in that light, I ought to be the candle that sheds light and exudes a sweet smell that others can take delight in... No one should want to lock me up to avoid that bad smell and smoky feeling that comes forth when my 'lights are extinguished.'

This smell is not something any perfume or fragrance in the world can give you; it is something that comes form your inner person. The candle wax must have some  ingredients in it that causes that foul smell. It is therefore up to me to understand what 'ingredients' make me who I am and to determine to utilize them for the best and for good; I am not put together to repel; my words are meant to be seasoned with salt, and I am meant to be the light in more ways than one. 

I felt so bad when I realized that my much-loved candles actually have it in them to smell that...bad! 

I wonder what you smell like?

Be free oh.

Want to jump in??