Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Morning delight!

I love mornings. I mean I love the morning experience. Mornings are usually my most productive and inspiring moments. They are sometimes my struggling periods too, trying to work out my bearing for the day. Very often as the "anesthesia" of sleep wears off and loses its effect on me and I lazily jostle into wakefulness, nature's jazz band is beginning to play softly in the background, serenading, reassuring and entertaining. The rooster, king of the morning, like a brass master, opens the musical score skillfully blowing his trumpet in the still-dark, insect-sound-laden, early morning silence: "cock-a-doodle-doo!" Or better still, in Nigerian pidgin: "kukurukuuuuu!" (laughing). And almost immediately, another member of this cock-ensemble positioned somewhere some distance in the neighbourhood joins in, echoing back this rooster-trumpet sound. This seemingly two-piece rendition goes on and on. And in no time, the twittering of sparrows, the whistling of swallows, the singing of wood thrushes and the cooing of doves and pigeons harmonise into this amazing birdsong and dawn chorus in the unfolding musical interlude.

The out-of-place sound of a lone car passing by intrudes on this bird-rendition as the driver blares his horn apparently to announce his presence in the neighbourhood. A bat screeches in response as if to express its disapproval of the unwelcome vehicular noise.

Lying on my bed, I can now see the faint glow of morning light piercing through the window curtains. Unable to hold back any longer from the pull of this irresistible bird-gang musical display, I am moved to jump out of my bed and walk out to the backyard of our three-storey apartment building. The sweet smell of budding trees pervades the air as a gush of cool breeze hits my face massaging it and then ricocheting down my arms. I quickly find a makeshift bench of wood and concrete support and sit down expectantly on it. My eyes scan through the yard inspecting the trees: a mango, a paw-paw, a moringa and two other tall trees whose names I do not quite know. Ember glow lights up the horizon as the golden red, circular figure of the rising sun fascinates in the distance. A group of swallows fly about in formation above. They break rank and playfully glide about. It looks like they are having much fun. My attention quickly switches to a male dove cooing to his female partner on the branch of the mango tree, nodding his head and apparently dancing 'shoki' (a popular Nigerian dance style) to impress her!  In a moment, they both fly off, I guess, for a more secluded place for their breakfast date.

The rustling of the leaves of the unknown tree close by causes me to witness a pigeon fight as two pigeons flap their wings pushing against each other on the branch. While enjoying this scene, I almost scream as I look down to see a caterpillar with needle-like protrusions all over its body crawling on my pyjama pants. Instinctively, I shove it off into the grass below watching as several ants and termites move aimlessly on the ground. As a mosquito whines by, a fly perches on my left arm. I gently move my head forward looking closely, amazed at its bulging eyes and greyish dark kite-like wings. As I gazed, a self-conversation erupts within: "They come in all sizes: micro, mini, normal, super, mega, giga! All of God's wonderful creations! And the wonderful abilities they possess leave one speechless!" This self-talk suddenly changes into a song:

"Oh Lord, how many are Thy works!
In wisdom Thou hast made them all;
The earth is full of Thy possessions.
There is the sea great and broad;
In which are swarms without number.
Animals both great and small
Oh Lord, Thou hast made them all!"

I internally recite this song by Amy Grant inspired by Psalm 104:24-25. Just as I finish singing, I see a black coloured mother-hen leading her brood of ten chicks, intermittently clucking in front of them. They respond, chirping as they rush to catch up with her pace. She stops and shuffles through the grass and they run in picking up the exposed ants for their morning meal.

My thoughts drift back to the awesomeness of God! I ponder about the past, the present and the future. I sleep, I wake up, I go to work, I travel, I grow but He, God, somehow, remains just there, the same, never changing. He is so ageless and timeless that He is called the Ancient of days! He is so futuristic and outlasts all living that He is called the Everlasting One! He is ever present that His nickname is 'I AM'. And as if that is a small thing to be, His agelessness, futurism and presence transcend time and space to the degree that He is all of these and much more at the same time! Wow, what an incomparable God He is!

An hour passes by with me sitting there on the makeshift bench savoring and basking in this state of worshipful reverence. I watch as a big neighborhood rat cautiously creeps through the grass and dashes off in an instance at my 'shhhhh' command directed at it. The sound of more and more cars passing by deafens my bird musical treat. A young lad carrying a shoebox size wooden container walks down the neighbourhood, rhythmically beating the metallic handles against each other and producing a drum-like sound - his own way of announcing that the itinerant cobbler is around. Closely behind him another lad follows, a portable sewing machine resting on his right shoulder as he snaps the surfaces of his big scissor against each other creating a tingling sound. This again is his own way of making his presence known in the neighbourhood. The third of this trio, a young man, trails behind holding a whetstone in his hand and repeatedly beckoning loudly with a Hausa English accent: "Sharp knife!"

At this point, it suddenly dawns on me it is time for me to go and take a shower. 

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