It’s the last day of the month
It’s a Saturday
It shall give way
To the beginning
Of that month
To end, the first quarter
Of the year.
The weather is warm,
And the dry land cries for water
When shall we begin farming?
So that we can again, get busy?
The old soldier asks?
His youth is away faded
In the foreign land, he lives not again
Home called, and he answered
It is a clarion call.
Bent on tilling the earth, with eyes fixed on the dry land,
The days of his youth,
The days when he worked tirelessly
With the Whitemen, the great men of the season.
“The memory pierces my heart”, the old soldier groans
In my youth, I enjoyed life, so much that I planned not for the future,
That future is my present now,
Wife and children, I have not
To help me in this present I live in.
Had I planted my hard currencies in this land I find dry in this present,
Would I not have seen the sun smiling back at me?
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Last year, the journey of graduate studies started. The need to return to the root arose, and in safety, the return was made so that progress shall begin.
Fate brought us together…Praise, Nneoma, Faith, Cynthia, Olivia, Goodluck, Frances, Lydia(Nne nwa), Sunday and myself, Genevieve. All but two of us, had graduated from the same institution, in different years.
Eventually, we built a family, unkown to us that we were doing so. The family effortlessly became bonded in love. How this happened, is inexplicable, the only thing I know is that we unconsciously were looking out for each other. We didn’t fail to call the sick ones, the troubled and emburdened ones, the ones absent from classes to inform them that classes had started; we’ve even barely spent a semester.
On this day, one of us, Goodluck marked his birthday. Prayer was said for him in union, good wishes were sent to him on our whatsapp group, his refreshment was fondly eaten, lovely photos and videos were taken; it was indeed memorable.
None of us are related, none of us were classmates during the undergraduate studies, we came as different individuals from diverse social background and the rest of it, but one thing is peculiar with us; we’ve built a family bond.
That is my definition of family. The definition of family to me is “a group of distinct individuals, unrelated by any ties, but are united in love, having the common goal of protecting one another’s good interest, and working in unity to achieve their set goals”.
If only every member of a given group, be it social group, academic group, religious group, can put selfishness aside, we will see a family in each other, and our world will be a better abode.
What makes us fulfilled isn’t our achievements or the number of our material possessions. We live for a common purpose: to touch lives and make impacts on our world. Hence, we begin from our families, and step further into other families, the roadside, schools, hospitals; everywhere the human person is found.
We can touch lives in distinct ways: Heartwarming the lukewarm, spending time with the lonely, smiling with the saddened, listening to the heavy-laden, brightening up those who weep, feeding the hungry, serving a drink to the thirsty, educating the ignorant, counselling those in doubts, lending a hand; the list continues.
Sometime, in the previous week, I was on my way to visit the sick in the hospital (assigned to me by my religious group), as I was about going into the bus I waved down, one of the passengers came down from the bus. Though I made way for her in order not to collide with me, she insisted on passing through the tight corner, and brushed against me, with no remorse shown. The thought of her act ran through my mind, I shoved and took a seat on the bus. It was after then, and with my listening to her asking someone to help cross her over to the other side of the road, so she could take a bus to Enugu, that I took a close look on her; instantly, I realized she’s visually impaired. Moved with compassion, I came down from the bus, and offered to help her, since no one was ready to assist her. We eventually crossed over, with her bag, walked some distance, and waited for the bus that picked her. I bade her bye and wished her well. She was very grateful.
I felt more fulfilled than I did when I achieved my personal goals, and I reminded myself of the need to lend more helping hand. And I told myself that I need to do more of ‘this’, and I’ll do it over and over until there’s nothing more to do, and my records become outnumbered.
Truthfully, putting smiles on faces, is a more rewarding and fulfilling achievement. We need one another!
How many hands have you lent?