Am kind of getting used to this morning routine and therapy that comes with it.Thanks to James clear’s Atomic Habits guide book and over and above all of course the grace of the Great I am that I am.My crystal water in a glass wine drains to its bottom and my throat relishes the coolness it tingles within.Of course when am done draining it the bottoms of the glass is up into my ceiling and what catches my eyes from my kitchen window is the blue yet now greyed skies.Greyed by a calm mist that comes with each beautiful morning as am learning to enjoy.
The insects on my neighbouring avocado tree have not relented in their quest for nectar and subsequent pollination of the remaining glowing flowers.To this end my eyes can afford to watch 5 to 6 beautiful avocado fruits into ripening,a sure test of growth right here…if man could be as resilient as this avocado tree has been so far then he sure would have found the true essence of his existence over and above the earth.
I have to retreat into my quiet space;a combination of a maroon Persian rug with Kenyan trimmed grey and black mats,the grey takes residence under my butt and the black always comes in handy when it is time to bow down.Feet crossed into each other and with my back leaning against the spirit level perfect wall my palms find rest atop my folded knees.
The door closed in front of me serves as a perfect barrier to all external noise and any imminent distraction.The calm builds behind my closed eyes as mind travels to the cool against my back.This cold wall against my back hereby acts as a perfect conduit into my memory lane.Beautiful cool corrugated iron sheets against my young back…..the cool almost feels like it is today….right here,,,the curved galvanised sheets silver in colour,trickling with a shower of rain from the outside as the water sinks into the cemented openings in the floor.
It is 7.30 pm and dinner is brewing in the pots seated atop 3 stones in the kitchen located next to the cattle pen.This pen as I remember was a source of much ridicule when I used a piece of rubber slippers left overs used to curtain the cattle from the kitchen as an eraser back in school.I mean,getting 2 kshs. to purchase a pencil eraser wasn’t that easy back then and when I saw an opportunity in multicoloured rubber left overs I wasn’t bypassing it amidst all odds.When the other kids borrowed that rubber eraser in 2nd grade they wouldn’t use it as it stunk of shit;cow and goat shit that is.For a moment I felt bad right then but in days to come I realised I was saving every 2 kshs. my granny would have to part with instead for an actual bookstore eraser ,not like we had any in the small town centre save for Mr. Njuguna’s wholesale cum retail store.
Back to the present dripping rain against the corrugated iron sheets,I am drawn into thoughts across the tiny living area that also served as a sleeping room once the older guys were done peering into the beautiful grey Great-wall television set.The red covering always made the images look coloured…such an ingenious invention this was though still it costed a little extra you know?
It is amazing how such a small living area could host so many people at a time,all narrating endless stories from their day’s events and escapades stretching from different parts of our small world.We were all united by one strong bond in this room though each of us had a totally different background.And this is what set grandma apart from any other parents I knew,she din’t have a bias against anyone irregardless of race or origin.
The sparkles in each of our eyes was evident as Erick my step uncle told these amazing stories from Eldoret and Alice my step aunt added more details to the tales;some always seemed too good to be true but then what are tales if they like the juice and flow of sweetness?Esther was the elder one and though from a different section altogether,she always had command of the whole conversations. If you din’t listen to what she had to say you were better off out of the room all the same:that meant a cold veranda and with grandma out in the kitchen brewing some tasty stew hence not here to come to your rescue,you always obeyed Esther’s command. Ken,the little brother to Erick always acted the calm and composed one,almost wise and with a demeanour of affluence in the middle of lack,hahah,even PePa is intrigued by this.
This demeanour came in handy in straits of knowledge once the lights went off and stories from the bible came to play as we lay on the floor layered with papyrus reeds and a pile of torn clothes for a pillow.The barking dogs across the road just beside the house and the purring of cats into the night played a lullaby to our cooling night as the rains by now once heavy upon the iron sheets, slows into puddles across the road.You always had to watch out for slugs that slithered into the house through cracks during this wet seasons….not a pleasant encounter if you asked me…..
I remember this one narration from the book of Genesis from Ken,not that I knew it was from that book back then as he narrated it;I only came to read about this great little boy called Joe much later .As I learn,he was born in a family of 11 brothers and had aptly acquired a taste for their dislike leading to his being sold into slavery.As the story grows on me it now sets upon my heart that is was to be the growth of a current amazing Israelite nation and my undeniable love for the bible.
The next morning as it were is a Saturday and grandma rises us up as was her regular routine.More ingrained in her was this desire for perfection and discipline than we who actually needed it more for the days to come that were to be the days of our lives.When no one would wake up then a jug of cold rainwater tapped conveniently into metallic super drums against the wall would be poured allover you.This with a mix of the reeded mats was not a good wake if you ask me but then it instilled a fear that hence led to better waking habits.
It is a wet Saturday morning and grandpa feels like visiting grandma’s kins across in Eldoret…Hurriedly yet smartly dressed we find 5 of us cramped at the back of a 1994 green Suzuki coupe.I enjoyed such unplanned road trips back then more than I would actually do today;picture 5 of us,three guys and 2 ladies all fitted at the back of this two door 1994 Suzuki with grandpa and grandma at the front as she held onto my little brother Muhindi….sometimes I think he enjoyed all the goodies more than any of us,but hey,he was the last born in a family of mixed breeds.
A drive through the smooth tarmac in between sugarcane plantations was always a thrill of its own primes.This delight was heightened in oft cases with a diversion to visit an old friend of grandpas into a muddy trail that came with its near toppling skids across the mud.But hey,we were cramped at the back of a 1994 4×4 Suzuki and toppling over was out of question,in those days 4×4 did not come in proud names and size and this here could only be rivalled by the Maruti 4×4 or say the Land rover discovery:please don’t throw shade at this info as in my opinion it din’t matter that we all lived in a one bedroom galvanised iron sheet house and enjoyed it,my grandpa owned a Suzuki in a township with little to no ownership of anything.This to me was bliss and it din’t matter whether I knew about cars or not.All I knew is that when I grew up I would want to own a Range rover,white in colour like the one my then lower school white proprietor and owner had.It rode so smooth atop the lime carpeted Hill road i always stopped and watched as it disappeared down the Homalime bridge.
It is amazing that in those early years someone,one person that is, would choose to clear out a road that not only served his interests but also those of the entire society and still go ahead to carpet it with lime that served in fairly all weathers.This comes quite rare these days as public funds could be provided for public roads yet still we would sink into craters in the name of potholes in an urban setup.
Anyhow,our trip through Chemelil sugar plantations always played a tune of calm and peace and a joyride to quip across slippery wet off roads .This would then take us through a heavy forest lad Kapsabet into an array of natural beauty,hill peaks and valleys alike.This my dear Treader is a hit on nostalgia that throws me into a throe of peace and calm beyond nerves.Did I mention or need I mention that just before Eldoret town into this back route lay the most spectacular view of the airport radar towers amidst a splay of green forest?This would be the single sign into ELdoret that is the bloom of joyful urbanization to the west of Kenya.
Not to lose you my dear Treader,these here mark the beginnings of a life that if looked at from the present may lose all the beauty that are the sketches that brings us up to today.Sketches that needed not much to live by and enjoy life but lay hid in the depths and soul of the world’s heart,a depth and language that needed no words to understand but lay safe in a heap upon heap of unwarranted love…….
These mark the sketches of my beginnings as now the wall upon my back feel warmer from my body heat and my feet grow numb under their fold.My eyes open up to the present as my heart wells in a joy of feeling blessed and wanting for nothing more than true,deep and sincere joy in all the little things life may throw my way.
My doorbell rings and I am brought back to city life.
Adios from PePa.