Friday, June 11, 2010

The world through our eyes

picture from here
I was returning from a guilt-laden trip to Bed Bath & beyond where i had picked up a pack of my current addiction, Tazo Passion Tea when i saw something that both amused and humbled me at the same time.

A little girl of about four was walking with her mother through the mall and they go to the escalators. She panicked for a few seconds as she tried to understand how to place her foot on the first step without falling down as the steps, which would be considered a moving nuisance by some, moved on its automated way. She clutched at her mother, who took her hand in a vice like grip to stabilise her stance, lest she go flying. The little girl tried again, each time not quite so sure of her self. This all was just a couple of seconds but already a line was beginning to form and irritation was beginning to appear on the faces of those who could not seem to believe the audacity of a four year old who was confused and disoriented by an escalator. Finally, her mother sensing that the lesson on overcoming her fear of moving objects would have to wait another time, lifted her in one fell swoop and carried her the rest of the way. And the little girl, held on to her mother for dear life. But she did not take her eyes off the escalator steps.

I imagined what they looked like to her; or what the world looked like either.

It took me back years when I hated sitting in my mother's mazda because it was a small car. Then, we lived in Benin City in Ugbowo Estate, which was across from the University of Benin, an illustrious institution whose front gates were some kind of automobile depot because all kinds of cars were either zooming past, turning in or parked out there. Any time, my mother waited at the intersection to make a turn into the campus, I would have small panic attacks because I was convinced that her car was so small and that people would not see us there. Or that the wind from speeding trucks would lift us into the air and into our next incarnations. Everything was huge and fast and crazy looking.

I pinch myself sometimes when I can cross a street in just a few strides because when I was little, I would run across, convinced that the road was so wide that I would not be able to reach the other side in time.

I remember sitting in my father's reading chair to measure how close to the floor, my feet were because that meant I was growing and that when I sit, my scrawny legs would not be poking over the edge.

When we are little, things are sometimes alarming and when I say little, I don't mean just your physical size, it can also be your outlook on life. When you feel like circumstances or experiences dwarf your abilities, you panic and flail and it all seems crazy. But there is always someone who has your hand. That someone (whoever you believe that to be), waits a it to see if you have the hang of it and if you do, you triumph and move on and if you don't, that person lifts you up over the issue; with the knowledge that you will still have to learn your lesson but next time, hopefully you will have other experiences under your belt that the speed of an escalator would be minute in comparison.

Take the time, to appreciate how far you have come. Remember, there was once a time, when you were no larger than a loaf of bread....but look at you now....


Anonymous said...

She's so lovely! Takes me down memory lanes. A cute bundle of mischief I had to contend with for .... You know how long ke!

iratejane said...


Myne Whitman said...

This is such a sweet but meaningful post. I agree with you and sometimes we have to revisit out little years.

nogoblogs said...

There' an escalator on the red-line Metro service that I still find scary...
Cute pic
Nogo xx