ROOTS

I speak not of trees (weeelll… I sort of speak of them, but not truly), or movies, or even of natural black hair. I speak of something equally close, something dear to anyone who has ever had a real and loving one: Family!

 My thoughts have the ability to wander when you least expect them to, running away in wild imagination, and going on quests to attempt to see the mundane in an extraordinary light, or at least, much more differently than others do. That’s how it came to pass,that on one of those ‘mind quests’, I found myself equating an old man I find rather cute to a tree (I find all old people cute, by the way.There’s something about their frailty that endears them to me. One look at them gets me thinking, sets me imagining all the strength their bodies have known in years past,and wondering how they’re coping now with the loss of it. But… that’s a topic for another day ‘-‘ ).

So, I looked at my old man earlier mentioned… and I felt for an instance as though I were sizing up a huge tree, its base firmly rooted in the soil,and numerous fruits hanging from it, some ripe, some not so much. And I had plucked (or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say ‘partaken of’) one of the fruits of this tree.

Now, before you begin to think of me as some heartless person feeding on the frailty of an old man, let me tell you exactly what caused me to view him in this light.

Adorable old Mr. Zee(as he will hereafter be known for the sake of my story) was having a little birthday celebration, and somehow I’d been indirectly invited. You see, Mr. Zee is the grandfather of my Sweetheart (in my earlier post referred to as Significant Other), and so I was indirectly invited to his celebration when I accompanied Significant Other (oh, and I had a swell time by the way,despite being a gatecrasher of sorts). I was having a wonderful time meeting members of the extended family when my brain decided to do that horrible thing it does in the midst of people (although they usually are unaware of it) and go on an analytical overdrive. You see, the people were many: kids, grandkids, cousins, siblings, in-laws, e.t.c., and as the list of people I was meeting grew and I began to forget some of the names I’d just been told, I began to see Mr. Zee in a new light.

Previously, I’d been meeting only the family of Significant Other (who are really sweet, by the way), and getting to see everyone else who presented themselves gave me an idea just how many strong branches Mr. Zee’s tree had produced. And then I wondered, or tried to imagine just how proud he’d feel, having all his offspring around him, people with whom he shared the same blood, people he could look at and feel a bond with. It made me think of just how many descendants one ancestor can possibly have.I know it’s a normal thing, and we are all descended from someone, but it was an interesting thought then. And for the rest of the day, throughout the merrymaking, I couldn’t help but think of him as a tree, and a beautiful one at that, each time I looked at him (I shared this thought with Significant Other and he just smiled that sweet, quiet smile of his that makes me fall in love with him all over again). It felt good being there, being a part of the celebrations, because I was with a grandson of his. So, now you know why I said I was in a way partaking of the fruits of this tree, I can go on to speak of my next, and closely related issue: parents.

We love them, we hate them. I don’t know about EVERY single person on this earth, but I’m sure a greater percentage of people have a love-hate relationship with theirs. I’m certain at this very moment that my parents will be unable to tell you whether I love or hate them. Yes, we’ve had THAT many arguments. But I would NOT opt to live without them. Not on any day. As a matter of fact, I find myself reflexively fighting back tears at the mere thought of living in this world without them.

Seriously, what would we do without our parents? They bug us, annoy us, monitor our every move (proof: my mom called a while ago to tell me she needs me to do something for her, and to ENSURE I come home early so as to fulfill my obligations as a good child),and generally do a good job of pissing us off. But they also love us unconditionally, despite our failures and shortcomings. I truly admire my parents for having tolerated my stubborn, irritating and overly curious self this long. An image I saw on the internet sums it up perfectly.

My relationship with my parents is unlike any other. Sometimes I am totally convinced I have never hated anyone more; other times their love and concern simply overwhelms me. My mum has a way of counseling me that melts my heart even in its stoniest of moments. I liken her usually to a Mother Hen. Generally calm,her feathers will be inordinately ruffled should you touch any of her chicks, and she’ll go any lengths to peck you then. And my Dad. Cantankerous Old Man, I like to call him (He doesn’t know this). The only one who understands the fact we’re arguing presently does not mean I can’t take what belongs to him without his permission. And so he laughed the other day when, as soon as he picked up a book of his and began leafing through it I went over to him and mumbled that I’d be glad if he handed it over. He asked in a surprised tone if it was mine and laughed when I replied in the negative and added I wanted to read it, the facts regarding the ownership of the literary work notwithstanding. They understand and tolerate me unlike any other I’ve known. Sometime I feel it’s because they have no option (what could they possibly do? Banish me to live on an island? or on the roof of the house?). But they do a good job of it anyway.

Our parents. Our roots. Our foundation. Our first contact with the world. The reserve from which we gather our basic ideas of culture,our thoughts and opinions on our environment. The people who know us so well and yet manage to love us unconditionally. My point is, Parents Rock, no matter how much they piss us off. And what got me thinking of parents in the first place was a post I  read on OMWAOMBARA’s blog about people maltreating their parents. It made me so sad,and got me thinking (before I began judging any culprits), what act of  my parents could possibly cause me to maltreat them in their old age. Seriously, there is no reason you should maltreat your parents; even if they did not take their pivotal role in your life seriously. Nobody’s perfect,and maybe they didn’t know better. If you feel you can’t love them the way they did you,then… well then I don’t know what to tell you.

Parents are one of the first and best gifts life gives us, and we should cherish them … because of the love and wealth of wisdom they offer us. And when their life is spent, we should try  to reciprocate as much we can, the love they gave us from infancy when we had not a clue what life was all about. I often say, (and that’s CYRILLE WISDOM! ‘-‘) from the moment you birth a child to the moment one of you dies, you NEVER cease to be a parent. And the same goes for being a child. ‘Honor your father and mother’ …’the only commandment with a promise’ Ephesians 6:2(and a sure route to long life as well, in case you were in search of one).

I’m sure you love your parents,but DO take the time to let them know, will you? We often make the mistake of thinking we’ll have them around forever (wrong move. Even YOU will not have yourself around forever. We may not like to think of it, but a day will come when we’ll be here no more). I for one, have devised a plan to bring a smile to my Dad’s face, and I’ll implement it before the month ends. Can’t wait to see that smile light up his face. But I must hurry home now, because in this present moment, my mother waits.

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