Its been 10 years.
A decade since I have been home. I remember what it looked like, but now I imagine what it is like. What it is today. I watch the news so I know whats going on economically, politically and so on. But I imagine what it is really like.
I can remember hearing children outside playing. Rolling downhill whilst sitting inside tires. Shooting at mango and guava trees with their slingshots just to get a quick snack. I can remember grandma sweeping her front porch whilst random neighbors who I know not of have joined us for breakfast. I can remember an open community whether it be in a city, town or village in Cameroon, where everyone was welcomed. Welcomed to parties or even welcomed to evening movies which are normally spent with family only. I can remember the heavy sound of bullet-like rain that hit our tinned roofs in our village. How bright green frogs would appear after the sun had reappeared. I can remember wondrous waterfalls with such velocity and the body rivers of which they originated. I can remember the 1 day ride from Douala to Bafangi Village. The number of towns my family and I would go through just to see our grandma in the Village. I can remember everything.
But now I only imagine. I imagine what those children who I used to play with outside my house look like today. I imagine whether my grandma still takes the same route to the Market on Saturdays. Now I only imagine what she looks like everyday as the sun and moon sets and rises. I can only imagine what rain water actually smells like in my village. What it would feel like to grasp and rub the red soil amongst my hands once again. What it would feel like to wake up to a mornings mist outside your front porch. Walk amongst and beyond the forest just to attend ‘Saturdays Market Day’. The sound of the Tropic Atlantic waves hitting our Cameroonian shores. The scary sound of insects screeching in the middle of the night. Pitch Black.
I can only imagine.
My grandma is a key role model in my life. She is known as many things to people within our village. Evangelical, loving, generous and scrupulous but to me she is my grandma. A wise lady, whom with every age burdens every bit of knowledge. Whilst I was younger she taught me that Cameroon is my home. Where ever I go Cameroon will always be my home and I would always be in her heart, however she never said it. She did not have to reverberate so.
She taught me many things. She taught me not to be afraid of being different. Not to be afraid to stand out with my own truth and beliefs. Not to be afraid to take a step, a leap in to another world. She taught me not to profligately hurt others even if they do so upon me. Consequential of all, my morals, my values and most of all to cherish my family and above all God.
She did tell me 2 something.
1. “It all depends on how you use the sun.” Heck it could mean many things, but all which mattered was how I interpreted it and
2. Never relinquish your dreams. Never be dubious about life or your goals. Dream big and aim high, BUT work hard to achieve and not only will you receive but you will inspire.
Now as I age every day, week and month, my mind, thoughts…my perspective of life enlargens. As I see life through my own eyes, hear stories of others and experience life through theirs I tend to think that in life someone out there has got it worse than you do and so appreciate every minute you get. As I grow every year I learn and learn countless of things, whether it be through experience, education, an elder, through a child or a friend.
Now I can only hope and envisage that when I get my chance to go home again, when I get a chance to see my grandma and loved ones I will pass off my knowledge from the outside world to those who are keen on learning. To those who have the courage to live. To the ones who want to make their imagination turn in to their reality.