A kiss here, a gentle touch there. An evening spent at the mall giggling at random quirks, or watching a funny or romantic comedy. A hand to adjust a wrongly fitted tie, a hug to welcome a tired worker back into the home, or the misty-eyed departures and reunions across a number of times, spaces, and circumstances. Life is full of them; mine is. Great food from a number of continental recipes, the variability of palatal expectations; the joy of moments spent laughing about the day, and the rush or arguing about hot topics that pitch us apart into different but sometimes complementing positions.

IMG_0321There are more: family from around the globe – Ibadan, Ife, Lagos, Ijebu, Ilesha, Southern Illinois, Kansas, Fargo, Minneapolis… Canada, London, Warwick. The wingspan of life has stretched into an interminable and happy length. Friends in the irascible Jos, distant acquaintances up north in Kaduna where the bombs lay waiting to explode. A college roommate in Lafia, another in Benin, or Abuja. The pulse of living binds us in a web of memories and thoughts, even beyond the reach of sights and sound.

Nephews and nieces, increasing day after day. Ageing parents, bound by now complicated cords of life and its filial conflicts and complexities. Chords too, in a certain harmony (or discord) across the times, or just the mere knowledge of the barest dignified standard of existence. We live across the times, in hopes and dreams. The present lives in the past, and the future thrives in the throes of the present. Mother’s dreams float in the morning steps into daylight, along with memorized admonitions and caprices. Father’s hopes and pride go in their own direction, and their greyness follows, with stakes, and the rewards. Come home to the present, life continues: a circle of familiar adventures.

Yesterday, I looked out of the glass frames in my office into the dusty streets of the city, my nose sniffing the acerbic bite of the new harmattan season. Memory, like the smell of dry leaves wafting in the December air, floats on in an endless loop. We live, and we are here, and that is all that matters.

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