“What’s with you?! Come on! Let’s go! Come on! We’ll leave you!”
Now, coming to think of it, the young distinct voices were no different from my alarm; the sound you never want to hear but simply can’t do without.
It had rained all morning and instead of the cool breeze that should follow, there was a hot humid air silently creeping in. No one was happy about it but no one could complain. Someone once said, “if you don’t like the position of the moon, then go ahead and change it!”
I had quite a busy morning and at 3:15 that quiet afternoon I felt I deserved a nap. I had snuggled in for little less than five minutes before I heard these voices. I peeked out my window and saw four young boys walking back home from school all wearing the same uniform; white shirts on blue shorts. The oldest of them couldn’t have been more than twelve. I had never seen them before in the area; I suppose I still didn’t know everyone within the neighborhood after being there for just three weeks.
Apparently, while the other three wanted to continue their journey home, the youngest one wouldn’t budge. He looked seven. It was their voices that got me up. ‘Come on now, T.J! T.J!” they all called at different intervals.
TJ didn’t move. He just stood there, looking at the heap of sand the same height with a wheelbarrow placed horizontally, and width like that of a two seater settee. The builders had placed it there to complete the construction of a church which was just behind the heap. It was an inch or two taller than him, but the way he looked at it, it wasn’t half an inch taller than his determination and ambition.
The voices continued. This time they seriously threatened, “we’ll leave you if you don’t join us now” one of them said. As far as TJ was concerned, they didn’t exist. His aloofness caught my attention.
“Ahhhhhhhh…….Who…oo…pppp ….aaa….ooo…uuuuchhh!” Without warning,
T. J took a shot at his little mountain but pathetically failed and found himself helplessly on the ground with a whelp coming from him. My heart skipped a beat as he fell. Thank God it was sand and not bricks.
I heaved my sigh of relief. “Okay, TJ,” I said to myself, “you’ve made your point, we know you’re a fighter, go home now will you?”
But not this TJ, he stood up, dusted his shorts and concentrated, ready for his next move. A smile appeared on my face, “this is amazing” I said to myself. I wanted a clearer view of this whole thing. I dashed to the balcony and sat on a chair and it just looked like I wanted some air. I knew better.
At this point, the voices were tired of waiting for TJ and started out their continued journey. “Meet us up when you’re ready”, one of them said.
I looked at TJ. He still didn’t look their way.
He tried again and this time went just half way but rather than the scary fall, he slided way down the heap. I couldn’t help it; I let out a silent laugh shaking my head. I joined the “Go Home” party. “Just go home TJ, you’re making a fool of yourself, wait till you’re taller and stronger, then you’ll conquer this mountain with one move.”
TJ couldn’t even hear me. I didn’t expect that he would listen to me and he didn’t! He dusted himself one more time, stood silently looking at the mountain and then quickly took some steps back and did the final move. In three powerful steps, he was there, right at the top. I couldn’t believe it just as he couldn’t. He looked at himself in total astonishment and first of all did a dance. I nearly fell off my seat. After that he shouted for joy moving round the top of the heap and continued dancing. Then down he went running and shouting to his friends who were a few meters ahead of him “wait up, I did it! I climbed it, I …”
He did all he could to show his victorious joy and at the same time, did all he could to make laugh and did I laugh?
I sure did.
Did I learn?
A great deal!
Sometimes, it is in the funniest and littlelest of things that the greatest lessons in life are learnt.
That day, TJ revealed some profound truths to me, the chief being a simple question, ‘Why give up when you can always meet your potential?’ after all; Jesus told us that anything is possible if only we believe…
I could never forget that day. It was the day T.J made me laugh… and learn.