You Will be the Fire.

Nnwa, forgive your mother for her rambling. I would still my tongue if I was confident that when the time would come, I would forget nothing that ever I said I must speak to you of. Forgive me and listen for what you will not need today, you may need tomorrow. You will go through many seasons in this your life. Many seasons. Some will have plenty, others will have lack. Some will be just fine, and others would make a fool wish there would be no tomorrow. It is true what is said, one must learn to live with much and with little. For who is a man to say what his own will be tomorrow? To think fate is one’s friend is to set oneself on the path to an early grave. I wish more for you than that.

I hope you will have understanding, patience and the kind of soul that does not wait for the wind to fan its flames. Because this life is written by many hands. The gods will have their say. So will the voices in the winds and in the earth. And those of men deem themselves sculptors of what they do not fully understand. They will all want to spit and not have it dry because a man’s life, who is to say whose voice it will yield to? Even in these times, Nnwa let not your faith shiver in the cold because what shivers will surely die. Even when moved with great sorrows do not set the world on fire. A fool would burn his mat before nightfall or take a battle against the gods. And me, I will not bear a fool. Of that I am sure. So I beg, listen when you still have ears to hear because a time will come when even my voice will not stir you. Listen now and perhaps when it does, you will have heard enough to remember.

It is what life is for everyone; to have both day and night, both sunshine and rain. It is what it is for every man Nnwa and your own will not be different. But it has always been the reserve of man that which he will do with what he has of each. Decide early enough you will go under, over or through until you get to the next field of air where your soul can breathe until you have to move again. Always decide early because death comes swiftly. Death does not know to knock and give one time to open his own door.

I told you before that I wish you the kind of soul that needs not the winds to fan its flames. If anything nyathiwa, I wish you this. You may not understand your mother now, but she knows enough to know it is the riskiest thing to be set alight but it is not living when you are not burning long enough to be formed of fire herself. For who can burn fire? Not even winter when it comes, and it surely will. Who can stop a soul that burns for itself? Not even magic can tame it. Not even men that think themselves gods.

Perhaps I wish many things for you because I fear. I find myself afraid more than I care to admit. It is strange. This caring of another you have not even met more than you could ever find to care for yourself. Perhaps it is because I fear the very death I have warned you about and yet; still find I wouldn’t mind this dying so much if I knew for certain this to be true. That for a lifetime Nnwa, you will be the fire.


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