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letters to my child
by Maina Kabukuru
09/09/09
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Letters to my child

My dear child, part of my early years were spent up at a village now called Githagara. This is where life was unruffled, serene and heaven.

A great river called Gura is a hundred meters away, I can feel its calm waters ruffle my feet beneath me as I wait for my mother to finish doing her laundry.

And not very far away from our home a small spring called Nyakanyoi flows from one of our relatives’ home to later join the mighty Gura. And from our homestead, when the skies are clear you can see the majestic Mount Kenya with its snow covered peaks to your east.

The village fresh dung smell, fill my nostrils as I write this to you. It’s sometime since I was there and I understand things have really changed there.

We lived in a traditional kikuyu hut that had been built buy my mom with the help of the other village women.

Our small one acre farm had a sizeable coffee plantation whose berries were picked during the months of December and packed in sacks and sold to the cooperative. But, my mother had a small patch where she grew her vegetables, sweet potatoes and yams.

The nights as you can imagine were chilly, and with the night noises that accompany great Out-backs.

In these early years my dad was way in Nairobi and would come during the weekends only. Whenever, he came we would have bread bigger than I could carry.

The cow that was part of my life nourished us with its milk. Warm fresh milk milked very early in the mornings made our tea and was either served with the giant loaf of bread that came on weekends and lasted several days or with the sweet potatoes or yams that were in abundance.

I remember being taken to a nursery school that had no desks, seats or boards. There were no books or papers. We would be taught songs and rhymes and when time for writing came we were shown how to write on the red soil floor.

The few days that I was there, soil became my friend and the writing of scripts that I did not initially understand brought a lot of calmness I cannot explain. Child I don’t know what magic is there when I pick a pen and start writing.

Probably the red rich soil enchanted me and whenever I take a pen or start writing, peace and calmness become my world.

So when I heard about you being taken to be enrolled in a kindergarten I was happy and joyous for you. School for many more years became my second home.

I was assured of order, meaning and company even though I found myself most often engaging in activities that did not include others; like chasing after grasshoppers, playing with plasticine or mud.

Other times chasing after the butterflies and doing my home work gave me purpose, and meaning.

Don’t get me wrong child, I was not a ‘choppy’. Books and writings have a way of calming and enriching individuals, no wonder the sacred books exhort us to read and study them.

Child it is in your genes to interact with the written word, it will perplex you and sometimes seem meaningless, always have it laced with love……..
End

Maina maina #5251-00506
Nairobi, Kenya
556 words
20th August 2009 - maina maina / 2009-2 first serial rights offered

maichk@yahoo.co.uk

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