Monday, April 19, 2010

Pick up your sticks

For some reason I've been thinking about Africa all weekend. I don't know why. But I am remembering a man, on a bike.

Four years ago while driving through pouring rain in a remote region of Ghana, our van hit a villager riding his bike. He was transporting sticks for firewood. After coercing our Ghanaian driver to return to the accident scene, we unloaded from the van to offer the man first aid. While I was wrapping the man's road rashes with gauze from our medical kit, our Ghanian driver began berating the villager for his stupidity in attempting to share pavement with a car. What I saw next was a beautiful expression of human dignity. The villager humbly thanked us for treating his wounds. Then he picked up his sticks and rode off into the rain. Instead of calling his lawyer (which is not an option in a third-world country anyway) he picked up his dented bike and broken sticks and moved on. I hope I don't forget this. I hope I can pick up my sticks to ride on into the next storm in life. Turning the other cheek is a powerful expression of quiet dignity. What does it take to ride this road. Whatever it takes I'm sure that man is out there, still on it...

I want to go back to that sometimes, just me and Anna and a nation of happy humbleness. No things, no money, no real material luxury. There is family, relationship, laughter, soccer and well-forged memories. Sometimes I missed that recipe of contentment. And then I married Anna and she brought it all back. From Ghana to Holladay to Tucson. But we do need a little practice with soccer still. When we score, I know we'll hear the villagers of Kun Kundi Yilli cheer for us!


NanaH said...

Very nicely said.

Brynn said...

I feel like Ghana is one of the most perfectly wonderful nations on earth. This makes me miss it too. Well said.