This particular dawn was spectacular. The breathtaking sun rays were frantically painting the dull blue sky golden. Bordering our great Ingotse village is Kakamega Forest. Its green expanse is especially more pronounced in the morning. However, the magic lies in its treasured waterfall. At dawn, the waterfall gives you a vibe of fine champagne; sparkly and calm. From my vocal point, the cool brittle air kissed my face just right. I’m in awe of the spell this village has cast on me. The environment’s raw aura has a way of massaging my soul with peaceful tones I deeply desire. From the noisy, whistling parrots to whispering gum branches, nature in this village works in a balance to bring out the hopes and beauty of the day ahead.
As his norm, my friend Kit was seated on his favorite spot; a beanie swing under the mango tree behind the house. Today however, he had company. Seated on a Victoria Cavalier leather armrest chair was his father; an erudite lecturer of his time. Around here, we call him mundu Mugeli. His knowledge, calm nature and neutral approach to conflicts have earned him enormous respect. He’s made of resilience and will so strong that on face value he looks like the epitome of excellence. From his youth, he was a force to reckon. He rose against village constraints to be the only man in his time to grace the streets of Nairobi University, an academic giant back in the day.
Back then, when he strode with authoritative strides in these pathways, children, men and women would stand in awe to stare at the man who had made it in life. Looking at him now despite his age, he must have been one fine looking young man in his hay days. As a matter of fact, I strongly feel that he gave a throng of ladies sleepless nights back then. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a successful man flash a smile their way?
But that was then. Now baba lao wears a knowing smile. He only comes out of his precious home to collect pension at Senje’s Mpesa shop. The strides of time have nothing on him. Except for his rather long salt and pepper tinted hair, he is aging gracefully. Contrary to the blatant lack of fashion that comes with old age, Kit’s father still has his fashion in check. This morning he was clad in a flowery summer shirt and grey, woollen Calvin Klein sweat pants. His reading glasses carefully sat on today’s daily nation with a headline that screamed how ‘BBI reggae has been stopped!’ On a closer look, Kit thought his father might have burnt the midnight oil for the umpteenth time this week. He looked spiritless, as though the struggles of old age were taking a toll on him.
A soft wind blew past as father and son gazed into the horizons. ‘Good morning dad? Such a great day to go for a walk don’t you think?’ Kit echoed. Mugeli smiled knowingly, while taking a long sip of his pumpkin soup.
“My son”, he started, “time is a priceless gift. It’s the only resource we have freely given, but we can never have it back once lost. It moves faster than the speed of light. Just the other day I was a young and energetic young man but look at me; I am an old man seeing a new moon through his grace and boundless mercies. You see, we are like the morning dew that vanishes as soon as the sun rays hit the ground. You can say we are like the land breeze that fades to warmer seas.
My precious son, you need to understand that our life is determined by the quality of the decisions we make every morning. I have raised you to be a responsible young man. Our good Lord has favored you greatly. At your age, you are a sapphire after my own heart. I am proud of the achievements you have banked at your age. Regardless of your huge strides, I have a desire to kiss my grandchildren before I succumb to my maker’s calling. You notice I’m not growing any younger, don’t you? Mugeli spoke with finality giving his words the needed weight. As bees swam past as though in agreement with his father, Kit silently pondered about his father’s unspoken question; ‘when are you getting married?’
If you have had the audacity to reach the age of 25 and above without being legally bound to your romantic interest in holy matrimony, the interrogations of when you will finally put a ring on it will bite your ears off. ‘You’re next’ they will whisper with a naughty wink in a family wedding. It’s like you are not allowed a moment’s breath. There’s no doubt that this question is well within good-intentioned monotones. However, the pressure to get married can be overwhelming as it goes to suggest that a person is some sort of failure unless they get married.
Somehow, ‘are you married yet’ downplays all your achievements like running a business and achieving your personal goals. What’s more, that short sentence feels like one is in a waiting list, desperately waiting to get hitched before crossing over to the side of milk and honey. Have you ever thought that this inquiry makes someone feel passive? Some even have predictable conclusions if you happen to answer this question in the affirmative; either you were found unworthy as a soulmate or you have refused to grow up like your mate John who has 3 kids now and a plump side chick. Marriage is a lifetime commitment which needs careful strides before making the big decision. Why do we need timelines?