Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreaming In The Dust

We grow by dreams. All big individuals are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day, or in the red fire on a long winter's evening. Some of us let those great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nourish them through bad days until they bring them into the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dream will come true.
Woodrow Wilson.

Ask any kindred who has been in Jacobu for almost the entire life and I am sure s/he will not hesitate to tell you the story you need to hear, especially if you've stayed out of town for a long time.
One thing is for sure: it's not pretty inhaling this dust and hoping the crystal dream shall one day come true.

I am a dreamer. There are certain things I'm enjoying now which remained only a dream some years back. I remember telling my father some things I saw when, according to him, I was barely three years old the time it happened. But I do remember. To his surprise!

My friends, my schooling, my relationships and many other privileges that come my way nowadays are only dreams becoming realities. I am the only child of my mother but I've always dreamt of having friends who stick closer than brothers, and thank God!, I have a very good network of friends whose heartbeat I hear even as I am in the crowd. I have the shared the same bed with some for over a decade; I have been helped by them many times than I give in return; and we virtually live on the same wavelength when it comes to values, perspectives and visions.

I told myself in high school that I'd come out of the university by the age of thirty. In a few months from now, I shall walk humbly in front of the crowd to receive my scroll. I know some friends will miss that day for nothing!

Right from infancy reading is been my most cherish pastime activity. I've read more history and philosophy than that for science and mathematics. For as I look back, I see how big individuals as ordinary as kings and queens, prophets and priests, sorcerers and witches, judges and warriors, lawyers and statesmen, artisans and servers, as well as sages and philosophers have lived their lives and impacted society and the world with their simplicity. So everyday I dream of  how best I can be to the society I am born in and the state where I am from. This childlike dream has effected positive results in my relationships and my contract with society as a whole. I think I have become more useful than I dreamt I will. And I have the potential to be better than what I am now!

I also dreamt I will have a sophisticated young woman as couple with the blood of our fathers running through her veins, too. Believe me, this is not far fetched as some assume.

As I write, many are the dreams surfing through my crazy mind. I see the day coming, very soon, when the dust shall be a thing of the past. I see our roads tarred black instead of red. I see our people wanting to unite and be one. I see the rise of a new breed of youngsters whose ambition is simply to be all that God created them to be. In this new breed, Jacobu shall see her sons and daughters all over the nation making headline contributions to the state and society. I see marriages becoming sweeter than they are today. I see children emancipated and parents freed from fear knowing all shall be well in the end. I see churches preaching unison and oneness. I see politicians desiring to tell the truth, first to themselves and to the people who accorded them that honourable status. I see empty hospital beds for the health practitioners shall turn to help us uproot the causes of diseases rather than spending quantum treating the symptoms/effects.

I shall bask in the red evening sun and bath in the afternoon rain like my childhood days. On the way to the riverside, I shall be greeted with honour and respect and I shall respond with joy, like I always do! I shall drink that fresh water fetched from the pond under the palm tree on our way to my mother's farm. Even on that narrow path to the farm, I shall let the wet foliage wash my arms free of diseases.

I dream of big tall merchandise buildings spread along the principal streets of the city on the hill. I shall walk that tarred road to the chief's palace holding the hands of my daughter and son; and I shall be welcome with a pint of spirit just as my father's fathers taught us to live when they first cleared a little space and mounted that mud house atop this hill. I shall not forget to raise my glass to the sky giving thanks to the Odomankoma for the earth we live on and the gift of life he makes possible for all of us. In the evening, my other half and I shall walk to the queen's house to greet her and ask her guidance how our daughter should be taught our way of life.

When the faithfuls meet in the chapel I shall be there to tell my story to those who will hear. I know they shall be inspired to be strong just as the Lord strengthened me to live mine.

And I shall witness all this and many more happening right here in Jacobu!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Building The New from The Old

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. Amos:9:11
And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. Nehemiah:2:5

This year I've had the privilege of being offered a front row seat to observe the blueprints of how the new Jacobu rises out of the old. On the first of January 2011, the Odotobri Rural Bank invited me to host their groundbreaking ceremony leading to the building of a community center for the good people of Jacobu. I responded to the call with haste.

My going was not so much because of my natural affinity with public speaking but for the love of my city which runs through my veins. I wanted to be in the known from the beginning to the end so that I shall not miss recounting the day to my children yet born. I want them to hear the story from their own father's mouth; and I needed to know it than be told.

In the night, I sneaked out to a place I'd not be disturbed so I could soak into the coming day when my old city shall have been turned into the blue-road I saw the night I met God. In that pensive undisturbed dimension, I revisited the talk I had with The Presence and what I heard in the Cosmic Council.

I remember seeing the crumbling of the old walls that separate our people into clans, congregations, parties, factions and fads; in place of it all, behold there was a rising of a new undivided wall which is free of dust. I remember hearing a Council member utter with a loud voice:

"By the time this wall is completed, your people shall be one again! Tarry not, go in haste and lead them to this Hearing. In so doing, let you be known as the one who served from the heart just as your Master the Lord has taught you." 

And I still remember the procession as our people marched happily in unison to the top of the hill to offer praises to God almighty for raising a new city on top of this mountain even after the devastations of the war.

Joy filled my heart. My eyes could see even farther than they can look. And believe me I could hear the heartbeat of the sleeping ant. Then, in the stillness, I saw, again, what the prophets of ancient days saw of the world that cometh.

In the new world there's a perfect home for every family. The evening skies light up our ebony skin; our rivers run like golden brooks; laughter from the lips of the child exudes healing and the morning dew refreshes the evergreen foliage. Our king is respected by all and rules with the sword of David; our queen invokes the courage of Zenobia of ancient Syria. Our daughters wait with sweet anticipation the day the dowry shall be paid by the young man from the other family. The statesmen shall have the trust of the people they once led astray. For forgiveness has come to stay and we all start anew. So the butterfly comes to play with the baby; the dog runs with the teens and the cat caresses the laps of the elderly.

Now that the new market is underway, our merchants shall travel the world with confidence knowing when they return home, there shall be a happy gathering waiting at the community centre. Children from the learning house shall mount the center stage with a beautiful new package of songs, poetry, music and dance. The old folks shall sit by the fireside to listen to the debate on board as the philosophers usher us into the Utopian world in the heart of the  mind.

I shall perhaps be of grey hair in those days but I shall be around to say I saw it all before the day the ground was broken. And I shall be happy because my people are happy too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Prophet Speaks

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like blazing torch. The nations shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
Isa. 62:1-2.

In times when new paradigms are being created, one thing that becomes indispensable is unifying leadership. Transformational leaders all through history identified this need to unite the forces and went through hell to see to the desired change. It isn't a pleasure trip. It is exhausting, arduous, and an audacious quest to attempt combining unlike poles. But success is for the one who stays the course to the end.

I remember the days when I was pensively in the mood with the Lord over my city. What I saw before me, even to this day, is an uneven people who take pleasure in disunity. For the most part we have a myriad number of unassuming folks who refuse to decide for themselves unless the order comes from above. Such will not rise to any call even when the trumpet is blowing. But they will run helter-skelter  once their overlords have demanded. They make up the bulk of the congregation, the political parties' groundsmen, and pockets of fun-clubs and unions.

I saw to my dismay, those who issue the commands. And my heart grew heavy with grief. For even as they speak, I heard a rant that called for more division and hatred. Even as overlords, they speak with little sense and their eyes see no further than they can look. All around them is thick wall built with separatist mentality -- the 'us and them' games.

So I asked the Lord, "How do we unite such a mixed people and succeed?" He whispered, "Speak, my Son. Speak and they shall hear you. And in hearing you, they shall listen to my voice and I will change them and save the land that I gave you before the foundation of the world."

For my peoples sake, the prophet must speak. Jacobu is blessed to see this day as the new sun shines upon the old city. But the sons and daughters still dance to the music of the old moon. They forget the moon does not lit except in the night. They sleep even when the night gives way to the day. They mourn in times of joy. And they scatter even the little that the gatherers have piled up. 

As the call goes out, let it fall on the ears that itch to listen so the heart may hear the Lord speak. Our destiny is in our hands and we have relinquished it into the hands of the greedy and the selfish; the haters sit on the unifiers' seat and I see their feet dangle from that higher ground. Simply put, we have put juvenile souls where the seventh-old kindles the fire. And the best these infantiles wish to do now is to toss the fire around as if there can be no consequences.

Come home and let's gather around the crack of fire so we can hear what the grey hair has to say. He sits humbly and stares with watery eyes as the blind are still being pushed to lead the blind. His heart pounds like evening mortar; his cloths smells ancient; his back arches with many years of distinguished thinking; his hand tremble as he writes these words; and I know he is only sent here to show us the way.

Come hear the Prophet speak!