He woke up to darkness.
His eyes were swollen shut.
The two year old was clutching her daddy’s hand like his life depended on it. Guiding him around the scarce furniture that made up their sitting room.
His friend had come to visit, he had heard about the diabetes – the loss of sight. He didn’t want to see his friend vulnerable, but he had to come. He had to show support.
She guided him to the other chair – “Thank you, Princess.” he said as he released her hand. She sat at his feet incase he would need her again.
It was her duty, daddy needed her.
She had a mission
>> 9 years later <<
Blood began to pool under the slightly elevated skin… I quickly put the finger in my mouth to try and stop the bleeding. It stung a bit. It had that slight taste of that divider that used to be the mathematical set.
The place smelled of paper, if you can imagine what clean paper smells like. The lulling drum of machines filled the air and their attendants seemed to be bustling about busy paying no heed to me.
I followed him up the stairs to the one room windowless office that he had just rented. I smiled excited as I examined the space and gave him an approving thumbs up.
I hid my hurt finger – He had said, ‘touch nothing’.
>> 16 years later <<
Windowless offices were only memory in his mind.
A persistent nudging that made him want to spur his children on. To them it probably came across as nagging but they didn’t know what it meant to fail and have no fall back.
They probably had the concept but they did not really experience it. They could always come home. Home was in Kampala not some little scenic village located at the ends of the earth.
>> 3 years later <<
You probably have your own version of this story.
Your Dad. Your Uncle. Your Aunt. Your Mom. Your Shwenkuru. Your Mukaka.
They had the one roomed house and they never let you forget about it. They had to walk to school barefoot. They were laughed at by people who did not mean them well.
I have been thinking about this a lot this week, how many of us are the first generation that moved to Kampala. That started from scratch. That had no fall back because the village was too far.
We like saying ‘don’t despise the day of small beginnings‘ – but a lot of us, our definition of small beginnings would make our grandparents laugh. Our small beginnings are the stuff that they dream about – we have shifted our perceptions and our definitions.
We, however, fail to embrace it.
We still prefer our Kaka’s small beginnings, because we relate it to a certain authenticity. It seems like such a glamorous journey and we convince ourselves that we are ready to taken on this selfless adventure.
Then it happens… It dawns on us that it might take 30 years to get to our destination. It’s not even a certainty, it’s just a might – suddenly, we are not as willing as we once were.
It is such a curious circle that wrap ourselves in.
2016 is here… Well, almost here. Remind yourself that circumstances have changed and your context is much different. Heck, even the economy is different. Gwe, I remember a time when the dollar was not 3k.
Wake up and realise that your small beginning is going to be different. You are going to need to redefine it… Then enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
Here is to your new ‘small beginning’… May you live to smile at your great grandchildren’s definition of it!
ps: all images are sourced from Google.