Breathe…and say Thanks

Breathe and say thanks

I don’t know about you but recent trends show an increase in the amount of whining there is. I’m not saying that the economy is as we would want it to be or that security levels are at an optimum coupled with food security everywhere, on the contrary. All I’m saying is for every dip in the economy, for every fracture in our social system, there has to be something else. Something that we look at, but do not see. Something we can be grateful for.

Most recently, the Kenyan political scene has been on the spotlight,if you ask me, mostly for all the wrong reasons. As has been the nation’s moral fabric, what with the unexplainable rise in crime and unmentionable sexual deviations taking front page on air and print. This, not to mention the endless show of greed and power from the country’s top to households where battery, child molestation and planned spouse assassinations are fast becoming norms.

Indeed, a lot of the news served to us doesn’t paint much of a yellow picture. If anything, we should be forgiven for turning into a whiny bunch quick to point fingers at flaws on everyone else but ourselves. Quick to join in the bullying trends on social media and quick to forget that the news segment is given just close to an hour to air and many times what tops the newsworthy list isn’t the leaders that are taking steps towards the nations development, the wives loving their husbands and families, the husbands drinking from their own wells and the children growing up into a generation we’d be proud to say we nurtured. Just because a case of adultery gets front page and that of a marriage built to last gets a column in the midsection, does not mean they do not exist.

 I believe that because of what is thrown at us, our hearts have evolved turning us into unfeeling critics rained to find the spot on the garment even when there is none to find.

I also believe that we can constantly make the choice to see the yellow in the grey. To see the hope in a nation we have been ‘trained’ to fall out of love with.

Yes we made mistakes, we are struggling to set up structures against impunity, we have families facing more challenges than before, we have a generation growing up faster than we’d want them too. But don’t other nations as well? Don’t we also have a constitution for the people, by the people? Don’t we also have a diversity of cultures admired world over, a growing infrastructural system, a noted passion for life and a patriotic heart so fierce, we stand by any brand Kenyan even when it fails? Just think Harambee Stars.

We have our trials, our struggles, our failures, our unmet plans and unfulfilled dreams. We do. But we have so much more.

We are Kenyan. Even in the face of many struggles we’d like to wish away, we are a people with a big heart, great minds and horizons still untapped. We do have families struggling but built to last, we do have a rising generation bursting with talent, strength and hope. Hope for a future we can build together. If for a moment, we’d take a breather and say thanks. Thanks for all that we have, that we look at but do not see. And in that spirit affirm our anthem’s cry;

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Oh God of all Creation

Bless this land and nation

Justice be our shield and defender…

 

Let one and all arise

With hearts both strong and true

Service be our earnest endeavor…

 

Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving

Here’s to a thankful week.
Picture courtesy of Mutua Matheka Wallpaper Edition

©Ang’asa Malowa

15/7/13

 

 

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Dear Imani…

Dear Imani,

That would have been your name you know. Beautiful, isn’t it? I wanted you to have faith in God, yellow days, true love, real friendships and family even when everything and everyone around you said otherwise. I wanted you to have faith as strong as your mama’s and her mama before.

I miss you…I miss you.

You have a brother and a sister now you know. She loves sunny days and candy and he loves her fiercely; I fear for the child that will ever pick on his little sister. Every time I see them play, I can almost see you playing with them. I can’t help but think of how you’d look in your pressed clothes everytime I get them ready for school or dress them up in their ‘church clothes’. I told that to your father and he gave me the sweetest look; but even that could not hide the fear I saw creep into his eyes. He’s afraid of many things your father. Currently, that he will lose my love to one we never had time to love, he says. I loved you. He did too, I know he did.

I think about you less these days, I dream of you less and I feel the need to apologize for it. I know its been seven years since but moving on doesn’t work with time as we know it I guess. The way you left sill burns me inside. I don’t even know who to blame anymore. The doctors that didn’t detect the problem with your fragile heart, the traffic jam that held us back or me; the mother that couldn’t tell her discomfort was a sign of troubled waters.

I can’t be angry anymore, it’s draining the yellow out of my days but I’m afraid to let go of the anger. What if I do and with it, remember you no more? No, I’m not thinking too much, I guess it’s just that It’s been pent up for so long.

I love you. Now I need to love your brother and sister, you’re father just as much before I lose them too. I need to lift the anchor holding me in these dark waters. I’m letting go of the hurt, of the pain but baby, my heart will always hold on to your pure soul.

I know I’ll see you someday and when that day comes, I want you to be the glue that held us together; not the fire that burnt us down.

I love you Imani, I always will.

Mummy.

©Ang’asa Malowa

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Loss of a loved one can draw one into depths of darkness once thought imaginable. The loss of a child for a mother, even worse. Sad thing is, many women have gone through this in silence, in solitude, in anguish because they didn’t know how to deal with it any other way. Many father’s need to be the strength in situations where their own knees won’t hold them up. Even more the children who don’t understand why their baby brother/sister is no longer with them, who don’t understand why their parents seem trapped somewhere, who have no idea what to do to help because they too are just kids. The pain can break you, even tear the remaining family apart or it can build you, make you stronger. I know it’s dark where you are but there are yellow days ahead, if only you can walk towards them. Seek out a support group – you are not alone, speak it out, take time to hurt so you can heal. Your family needs you, you need them – talk to them. Heal so you don’t lose what you still have because you held on to what passed away.
Till the yellow days are here, till the black turns to grey, till the light at the end of the tunnel drawn near; hold on. It may not seem like it but there will be yellow days. Trust me, there will be brighter days. 

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…New Year

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Happy New Year. Well, as much as we’d all love it to be a happy new year, for someone somewhere, its not even close. Its just another day where everyone else seems to burst with way too much joy and enthusiasm. To this someone, 8 days later, its still annoying that every post everywhere has a ‘happy new year’ theme to it…and i don’t blame them for feeling like they need to move out of earth for a while until we all shush about it because for the longest time, i didn’t know it was even possible not to be in the ‘happy’ mode once a new year clocked in.

Not so long ago, on the many phonecalls we make that night, i talked to a friend of mine that wasn’t having it happy that day. So much was going on, so much that i hadn’t been there to see what with all my excitement that season. She was struck in the grey…didn’t see what we were all so happy about. Listening and talking an hour later, that’s when i started to understand that there was someone else somewhere who wasn’t having a happy new year. Someone like my friend. There wasn’t much i could do to paint my yellow over her grey…but listen and try to understand what her heart was going through just then.

Its still a new year, at least for me it is. And i’m still on a happy high as i always seem to be this time of the year. But now i know that someone somewhere is just having a new year…no glitz, no lights, no hope,no love. Maybe you know someone like this too. We can’t wish away whatever dark clouds are ruining their moment, though we’d want to, most of the time we can’t. What we can do is be there, is listen, is hand them an umbrella in the rain and where we can light up the dark…in whatever little way, lets.

It’s a new year but it’s not up in lights for all of us. Someone somewhere is wondering what the rest of
the world is fussing about…they are yet to see reason to celebrate, to be
happy, to look forward to something new…it’s just not a ‘happy new year’ for
them. I also know that telling them there’s gonna be a brighter day may not
help either…..it may not be as happy for someone else as it is for you. Light a
candle so they can see through the dark, hold their hand, give a hug, just sit
there with them…let them know someone cares. May not seem like much, but
trust me, it will put some happy into their new year

I know we all have our own new year joys and troubles to sort out and we may forget its not always all about us…Spread the happiness, won’t you?

© Ang’asa Malowa;  Photo ©Mutua Matheka

If you liked this, check out http://angasamalowa.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/it-will-be-well/