Wednesday, February 08, 2017


There is a mango tree that is growing right in the middle of our compound. (My wife thinks I should chop it down, but that story is for another day). See, this mango tree was a mere seedling about seven or eight years ago. I recall my daughter clipped off its apex leaf much to my chagrin. Today, she sits under its shade - sometimes painting her finger nails, sometimes playing matatu or resting from the hot African sunshine

Mango has of late starting producing plenty of fruit. Lovely fruit i must add. This means we need not buy mango fruit for weeks on end. If provision of shade wasn't reason enough not to chop it down,then the bounty of fruit should surely convince me to keep Mango around for the distant future. In my earlier blogs, I did mention how plants generally teach me a thing or two - one of which is being resilient.  Indeed, in spite of the current state of our environment, Mango remains unaffected. She is producing new leaves, more flowers (and later fruits) while all around her, many of the plants are shriveling, drying up or dying away. If it wasn't for irrigation or the occasional rain, our compound would look pathetic. 

Mango, however, seems to flourish more in the dry spell than during the rainy season. I suspect the reason for this lies in Mango's 'decision' to prioritize rooting over 'showbiz.' While many of the flowers and shrubs in the compound produced brilliant flowers of pink, gold, red, purple, indigo and some such, Mango, whose flowers are really nothing to talk about), chose to concentrate on rooting. That is, growing deeper in the soil and looking for the most important thing - water. Its as though Mango knew that there were days of scarcity ahead. There was hardly anything about Mango to write about during this time. She remained her dull self - green and dull. No one looked her way during this time apart from the occasional compound biker who rammed into her stem. While many were attracted to the scent and petals of the nearby flowers, Mango steadily grew. Today, she is the centerpiece of the compound - the 'corner stone' of the garden. She is unmissable - brilliantly green when all around her is dry and dusty.

Mango therefore teaches me once again a very important lesson - Beware of those who seem to flourish without depth. It might be depth of character or depth of wealth or even depth of learning. In other words, we need to ignore the showbiz and concentrate on what really matters. Often times, it is in silence, in the shadows, away from the showbiz that leaders, inventors, authors and other pathfinders grow their skill and perfect it. I have seen this often. In the dead of the night, when all is silent, ideas are created and visions are cast. May the Lord help me to remember this even when I, like the moth, seek the light of the candle only to be burnt out. When the time of reckoning comes, might our character, developed in the silent years of seeking the waters of knowledge and wisdom,  be evident to all. May the time spent in learning reveal the true wisdom we seek to acquire when others sought the pleasures of life. Lets buy that future now.....

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