Saturday 19 August 2023

Reflections on a childhood reunion

The mantle that fell on us

The weekend past provided a moment of deep reflection on the quality of relationships and how they endure. In other ways, I thought about how a generational mantle of favour covers us in certain places out of reverence for what our forebears have done long before we became part of the scene. The ability to understand that grace which is not of our ability or achievement is something to reckon with.

I can say I have benefited immensely from much of what my parents have done and the enduring relationships that have grown from those communities. Social media and the wonders of modern communication abstracts from the reality of sight, sound, touch, and hearing in terms of physicality. The convenience tends towards the substitute.

Then back together again

How I felt about seeing relations and friends who I had not seen from about 7 years ago was heart-warming, the catching up and the memories that linger. You feel you have adapted and changed and still much remains the same. What is evident is the mutual love and affection we have for each other, whatever the trajectories of life, what brings us together is strong, enduring, and wholesome.

Further on, there are people I had not seen since the 1980s, and we were gathered to celebrate a landmark birthday with all the siblings of the celebrant coming from the far ends of the world for the festivities. The matriarch, the widow of my father’s closest, best, and childhood friend presided over ensuring I graced the occasion. My arrival indicated much of my features are too easy to recognise, even as I scan the deep recesses of my archives to link and appreciate.

The childhoods that sired this

The greetings and the smiles, I have not attended a Nigerian fare for longer than I can care to remember, we are counting decades and more. In any case, I was being introduced to the new generation to which the reference point was the close friendship of my father to their dearly departed grandfather.

The party managers having marshalled us to the organised settings, I looked up again to recognise another childhood friend, scion of the community of childhood friends of my father. Then he introduced his wife to me, my father had given the eulogy at his father's funeral. That was news to me, that his father had passed on, along with the additional detail.

It occurred to me as it has before that with the blessing of a long life comes the misery of bidding your peers fond farewells with the reminiscing in sadness and warm feelings. The traction of time is perpetual, and our marks in the notches of time’s unending length of totem pole is where we look to reflect on the things that suggest, we need people to gather again for old times sake.

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