In she walked,tiny and almost unnoticeable,you couldn’t tell whether she was just another girl or not;though from the look of things she was.
Tiny fingers,shaved hair,kinky if you may call it.She looked naive and green,reminded me of my lower class years,the beautifully mowed grass outside my classroom.We called him Helper,the lawn mower that is.At the time it never hit me what helper meant,I always thought that was his name.
Call it naivety,the French make it sound even more naive,they conjure the word into Nouveaux,makes it longer and harder.
Well,they had coined this name from the verb help;thanks to my then English teacher I learn’t quick.
So here she walked in.This naive girl.Nicely cut nails,must have been clipped off with a nail cutter and then with the subtle help of teeth.In those days I recall,this new age gel and manicure technology hadn’t kicked in.Interestingly though,her beauty was never lost behind those sketches.
She din’t have those beautiful big eyes you see in most naive little girls.Her’s though were tiny,matching my Chinese ones.At least I saw a copyright of me in them.
Still to the common eye lay nothing to tag home about.On her feet were laces of plastic sandals,these however had gotten an upgrade from the Sandaks we wore back in the early nineties.
Speaking of sandaks,nothing made a little boy or girl happier than getting a pair of those over Christmas festivities,and for the girls those floral layered beautiful and lengthy dresses,we used to call the “gorofa” to ape the formation of sky scrapers.
So here she stood,and just as Nathaniel asks in the good book,the bible,”What good can come out of Nazareth?” So would I ask looking at her then,”What good can come out of this naivety?” Little had I forgotten the wise Swahili saying,”Samaki mkunje angali mbichi,” direct translation for ,”Bend the fish while it is yet wet,”so here she stands wet,I mean fresh and all green,not literal green though.
Years went by smooth and quick,the scales of lack showed not for a moment and the ugly sketches of poverty had no grip to her;not that they counted or should have but her tenacity sure made one ignore and almost forget her past.
And the little tiny girl now in the city would in most cases than not bring out the ugly cracked side of her;the smell and feel of income trickling in would change her personality in most cases so to sample but no,not with her.Little Peji knew her scars and how deep they cut but instead of using them to bruise her entire existence,she carefully sealed them together to make a foundation of love,of hope,of strength and the very manicure of her sketchy nails;with the remaining pieces she created the foundations of her strength and beauty.
So to mould and seal up all the scars in a wake to bring them together,she used persistence as an adhesive and resilience as the stool of her everyday rest.
Days no longer seemed to crawl by to her but attention to every detail and mannerisms made her everyday lessons.She looked forward to every hardship as if those were the bricks to her growth.
I love the peril in days at this moment as I see each hour transform the once naive little village girl grow into a woman,I used woman intentionally for mostly in a woman is the entirety of beauty perceived.Nope don’t trot please for am not inclined to her lips becoming fuller or her hips in the same wake,not even the once shy breasts getting their fill for I must admit I never noticed those,not till she bore 2 adorable babies in the bounciness of twins did she get bigger.
Her beauty grew in her urge to learn and things that would otherwise take a normal student months to learn,our friend Peji learnt in days.Like her every breath depended on it.This beat the odds of the passion for love and its intricacies.This was the observation of a shoot grow from a rotten seed into a full length oak tree renowned for its age and beauty…It however din’t take ages like the oak tree but transformed right before your eyes like a movie scene.
Did I mention that while most of us get babies even accidentally,her’s was a journey?A journey of faith and hope,sometimes hopelessness and cries without end.Of feeling abandoned by the same faith she held onto so much;I even I at times feel like letting go of the same.
So while some of us see babies as a burden and added mouths or expenses,she got those two like it was the only miracle that ever happened to her.Yes and I believe from thence that miracles still do happen.
Ever visited the hospital countless number of times with the same answer?
THERE IS NO HOPE,YOU WILL NEED THIS OR THAT NUMBER OF MILLIONS FOR A BREAKTHROUGH…..
And then one day boom!You are pregnant,not because you spent so much money on Doctor X or Y but because grace reached you?that the very hope and faith you held onto paid?That that belief you held onto was worth it all along?that you may never get anymore babies but this right here is enough miracle?You asked for a baby but got not only one but two beautiful babies?
So I have seen that little girl transform from oblivion to strength,to hope and to amazing beauty and above all I have seen a heart that can hold strong through every tear and rip,growing into unconventional amazing awe.Yes,she has no money to show for it but she oozes confidence and joy that lies deep within as she is the best in what she does and has learnt to enjoy every second that passes by.
She has taught me who was all but accomplished that success lies not in the amount of money I make but real success lies in the amount of joy I gain and pass onto others.
And these my dear PePa reader are the sketches we miss.