Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bidemi - A Poem

A toddler's beauty
ebony black glowing
the whitest smile
the fullest of lashes
biggest brown eyes ever paired
brimming with intelligence,
curdling with fire
tiny and belly-potted
full of love and affection
content with nature's simplicity
mangoes in their tree
mud huts and their thatched hats
Apata - a place called home
at one with God and his sky.

By: Me.. May '05

I wrote this poem a little over 2 years ago. It was inspired by this little girl, Abidemi, that I met on Erimo Ori Oke ( a prayer mountain) that I climed with my mother, just a few miles outside of Osogbo. I was so reluctant to go on that trip..I remember thinking to myself "this woman (my mother) has lost it". But that trip turned out to be one of the most purifying experiences in my life (and there haven't been many). There was this small village community up there..maybe a total of 50 people at best. Bidemi was a little chubby 3 year old daughter of one of the mountain keepers. And I fell in love with this little angel. She just clung to me and we had the most amazing little conversation in Yoruba. I loved her so much I wanted to take her back home with me and adopt her and just give her everything. I jokingly asked her if she would come back to Lagos with me and she said to me 'only if her dad could come along'. Can you imagine!! I found that to be so honest and mature for a 3 year old. I was amazed by how these people, who had so little, still had immense contentment. Including Bidemi, who juse seemed so content and on top of the world, literally, with her life. Even at age 3 she emanated that. She wanted to be my friend, but was in no hurry to leave her life or family behind. I got back to Lagos and continued to think about this girl, who gave me so much to think about. Life and contentment. What were those things exactly? This community have no light, no running water, just the clean air and a view to die for. Yet they all seemed to just get on with it all, surviving and living, joyously.
Thanks to the phenomena of 'gsm' which worked all the way up that high-a*s mountain, I was able to keep in touch with her by calling her mother's phone.
So since I wasn't able to take her home with me and make her mine (as crazy as that may sound) I decided that I could still adopt her from afar. I've continued to stay in touch and she has now started nursery school down the mountain in a small nearby village. I send her clothes and dolls and that kinda stuff and books to read (I even found some children's books in Yoruba for her) pretty regularly, check up on her schooling and things like that.
I just thought about her today and decided to publish this piece that I wrote. I wish though, that I'd had the presence of mind to have taken my digicam up there. I don't even have a photo of her. I was too busy kicking and screaming my way up the mountain. *sigh*.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Seven Things...

1. That I'm grateful for the gift of life, which I took for granted without even knowing. I have a new leash on life right now and won't ever compromise or take my health, or my happiness for granted again.

2. That deep down, I really want to love and be loved back in return.

3. That for the past seven or eight years, I've had a crush on one of my favorite mentors..(he may or may not be freaked out by this crazy revelation). He is 'the' most amazing man I know. "THE".

4. That I really can't imagine life without my mother. Not now, not ever.

5. That if I'm not married in the next two years, I've decided that I'm going to adopt a baby girl.

6. That even if I marry in two years, I'm going to adopt a baby girl anyways!

7. That losing my aunt to HIV late last year, really brought this epidemic home to me. It's still so hushed in our society and seen only as the 'poor man's disease'. The denial to HIV and AIDS in our society, especially amongst the elite is shameful.

+1: That it's important that one marries or ends up with the best sex they've ever had. The number of young African (Nigerian) women settling for mediocre or lousy sex in long term partnerships is alarming. Catastrophic even!

Thanks to Jeremy for this idea.