Let’s start this with a request. Me, asking you to think of me as your mother. Play with the idea, go to the extent of thinking I have sheathed a leso around my waist, that is adorned with well-timbered proverbial writings. I also have red t-shirt that has a picture of the MCA-elect on its back . Don’t forget the head wrap that entombs my neglected hair. I lay claim to the ‘mother’ title on the basis that I have fed my nephew porridge, clean his kissers while at it and abraded his tiny feet with socks and gumboots. I also pine for the title because am convinced that some of you, am not saying Lilian Wanjere, will only read something when coerced by a parent.
So here we go:
Have you ever searched for something? A coin, perhaps?Maybe your house keys in that massive brown hand bag. Foraging for keys in a handbag calls for only one trick – closed eyes. That way you heighten your touch sense. Otherwise you will look directly into the bag and still see nothing. Except the supermarket receipt.
A couple years back, I searched high and low for answers to a pandemonium. Life had become hue and cry. The hand I had been dealt by life- sickness- had managed to dig out every root of hope in my life. So there I was, at the shore of fractured health, most offals in my system giving up on me, their defense reason: I wasn’t keen on the quality of thoughts I entertained and neither at managing my emotive side. I think, it didn’t have to come to this, but who stops the wind blowing your way?
There is an axiom that goes- life is what you make it. Well, I hoped so. Given the turbulence, I would have molded life into a small child and I, a huge African mama. I would spend my waking days cooking and fattening it, then on one cold night, while life is sleeping on the lower bed bunk, I would conjure up a magical cane and whoop it. After my era, it would nurse bigger sores than those it has grievously inflicted others. Well if wishes were horses…
As fate would have it, I tottered into you tube motivation like any normal millennial. Don’t even give me crap about it, I know the visceros of it. The good and the bad. You tube self help motivation became my cheerleader. My guiding light in the matters society neglected to mention. This contrivance got better of me, and I thought of taking it a notch higher. So I scouted for a place that teaches meditation and mind mastery.(Still don’t know if there is a place in Kenya). Prosperously, I went on this retreat and while there, I heard a story that I have carried in my heart since.
You have probably heard it before. I have. But this time round, there was new spice to it. And maybe it was because life had become insufferable. It is the story of the rebirth of an eagle.
An eagle is the CEO of all birds. The madiba of the feathered creatures nation. It towers over skylines and sometimes by the dumpster (the Kenyan breed is hood. In Spanish that is, Kienyeji). Even so, as it hangs out in the dumpster you can see confidence oozing out of it, like it’s doing something of greater value.
For those not familiar with the personal data of an eagle, I will stoop low and gossip, for you. Look at the things am doing as your mother aki, si I really care? An eagle is adorned with black feathers that cover it’s nudity and a scoop of white on it’s chest and back. It almost seems like a white maasai necklace. An eagle looks like the kind of bird that would be a goal keeper in a tournament, no goal walks past it’s majestic flying.(See what am doing here, Arsenal). It looks like the kind of bird that distances itself from controversy and snap chat filters because it’s already black and white.
On the eagles 40th birthday havoc sets in (Well, I skipped to forty years that’s where our story takes a tangent. Prior to that, an eagles life is okay). It’s a mare’s nest. The feathers have become heavy and puffy, making flying difficult. It can’t fly to blow it’s birthday candle. The talons have also grown longer and can no more catch prey. The beak also looses it’s might for ripping. Basically , the glory days of the bird are over. It’s reduced to a walking class bird like the hens. Thank heavens there’s no face book for birds, because the eagle would document all this trauma online with cynical quotes such as: Not loving the bird I’m becoming.
In this pandemonium, the bird must make a decision – starve to death or go to the mountains. In the mountain is where the birth pain exists. The pain of rebirth. Here, the eagle will find a hard surface where it will continually hit with the beak until it comes off. Then wait for it to grow back. With its newly found beak, it will pull out the talons made of keratin, same stuff as human nails. Then wait for them to grow back. With the talons and beak, it will scrape off its old feathers, pulling them out each at a time. And also wait for them to grow back because nobody wants to see a bird flying around naked. Eagles are decent birds.
This whole process takes approximately 150 days and after it, the eagle takes on a mighty flight. It has been re-birthed and could live for the next thirty years.
This was the question the man telling the story posed: what feathers are weighing you down that won’t let you fly? What old talons that no longer serve you need to go?
And when you cut all things off- the self deprecating talk, the bad thoughts, the unhealthy habits, the self doubt and wait for better patterns to blossom, you will recreate yourself.
I haven’t got all answers to question I have asked while furiously shaking the tree of life. Once in a while, a fruit falls and I munch it. Though what is clear is that some problems come to put us on the path of our purpose.
Good luck with your rebirth, if that’s where you are as of now.