Early this year a certain man predicted that according to biblical signs the world would end on the 21st of May 2011. It is only 6pm now, 6hours to go but as I sit in a cab stuck in the jam of friday traffic, it occurs to me that in another timezone, it is already the 21st of May. I beg the cab guy to halt his owambe Ayinde Marshall jams for a bit and tune into the 6 o’ clock news so we know if parts of the world have ended already. You know the way lights go out one by one in a house after dark, could that be how the world’s people are gonna be snuffed out or will it be a global event, everyone dying out at once? So many questions. Yesterday I asked my mum if there’d been news of a man building an ark or some protective device so that we won’t be the dull ones who weren’t saved the second time in the history of the world that it would be utterly annihilated.
I look around me at the hustle and bustle of Lasgidi city-dwellers and frown. The hustle hasn’t stopped for even a minute. Everybody is carrying along business as usual. A myriad of church programs aren’t fixed for tonight. Even scammers can’t make money off this one. Seems like everyone is wiser now. A long time ago, I heard the world was ending on an ordinary day such as this. I abandoned my friends and my dolls and picked up ‘My book of Bible stories’ and spent the whole day chanting “Father forgive me for all my sins in Jesus name, Amen” almost the same way my teacher had taught me the tongue-twister; “Peter piper picked a peck of picked pepper…” The rationale behind this was a race against time as my mum had taught us that Jesus would come in the twinkling of an eye so I figured if I could confess my sins at the same speed it took me to blink, I’d be saved.
I’m older now, with more guilt and more sins. Old enough to realise that salvation is personal and something you’ve gotta work on without holidays, old enough to know good from evil yet rationalize why evil is a better option. Old enough to know a habit is wrong but bask in the pleasure it brings. Old enough to read a bible verse and analyze it instead of just accepting it with the simplicity and faith of a little child. Yes I am old enough. Old enough to be tried and found guilty. Old enough to find a solution to my problems rather than waiting for orders from above. Old enough to dine with the devil as long as the spoon is long enough. Yes old enough not to believe an old wives’ tale about the world coming to an end in a couple of hours but then why is there a nagging feeling in the pits of my tummy? The world may not end tomorrow but what if it ends for me tomorrow, where would I stand?
I look out the window again, it’s friday evening and the weekend is here. The people around me seem so at ease. The market women chatting excitedly, occasionally coaxing unwilling buyers to stop by if only for a moment. We drive past a bar and ‘Pop champagne’ is blaring through the loud speakers as the men round up the first of many bottles of beers. The curtains are supposed to be falling and mother earth may be taking a final bow but all these men are worried about is a refill on their beer and the seductive sway of the hips of the waitress hoping for a tip.
Hasn’t mother nature tried? Doesn’t she deserve a break? Can’t she be allowed to die a peaceful, long ago prophesied death? She is frail, abused, old and polluted. Only a shadow of her former self. She has survived wars, cried when her young were snatched away by the evil clutches of death. She has seen disasters, groaned under the oppression of dictators and gone hungry during famines. She has been rendered useless, her ozone layer gradually stripped till her nakedness vexed the sun. She has been played by politicians and bullied by terrorists. She has been raped by tsunamis and assaulted by earthquakes. Why shouldn’t she give up? She has seen great men come and go and kingdoms rise and fall. She has been around from the first man to the present man. Her bowels full of secrets. Her heart broken into tiny pieces as she weeps for her children. Children who didn’t think to preserve her heritage. Who littered and destroyed and polluted and plundered and didn’t care about the earth she had given them. They were selfish and cruel and she longed to start over. Dreams of youth, of she being addressed as miss nature not mother nature as she frolicked with her lovers. She had failed as a mother and judgement was nigh…but what mother abandoned her children…?
I snap out of my reverie chasing away the dirge for mother earth. Nobody is gonna die. The world isn’t gonna end tomorrow, the earth isn’t going extinct in a couple of hours but the earth will, if we don’t stop killing it. Let’s heal our land and save our planet and while we are at it let’s hearken to the plea of a soul desperate to find meaning, desperate for salvation yet each day falling into new depths of decadence. Yes for 6 billion people, life may continue as usual when the dawn breaks tomorrow but what if you are the odd one who takes a bow tonight? What if your soul is required of you tonight? Have you lived a life you’d want remembered? How many of your dreams have you achieved? How much of your life was wasted? How many times have you lived your life like you’d be forever young? Where would you spend eternity? We’ve lost so many people this year, what if you are the next WHO statistic? As I alight from the cab, a piece of scrap paper falls from my lap. I take a step away from it and then I sigh, walk back and pick it up. I throw it in a trash can three steps away and I smile…I’m gonna give mother nature a reason to live. In my own little way I’m gonna do things right. I feel like captain planet all of a sudden. The world may or may not come to an end tomorrow but I’m gonna make sure I’m prepared. I’m the hero in this movie and head or tail I win!
Now to tackle the issue of my soul……
Goodnight fellas, hopefully we part to meet. Don’t be caught unawares. Tonight might be the end for one not all…I end this post humming the old James Bond tune…guess which movie title inspired the hum? 😉 xoxoxo