He watched from quite a distance as he had done time and again. His binoculars made his vision a lot more detailed than deprived. Closer than usual, his vision bore clarity and grace as his sight was blessed with a view never seen before now.
The trees seemed greener today and somewhat taller; the shrubs seemed to have put on some ounce of tree flesh; the grasses had a lining as far as his eyes could see, and more so the array of the three were in a unique pattern like they were arranged beautifully by the Master of arts. His ears heard no wails; there were no fire works that blackened the sky. It was indeed a day that had the makings for rejoicing.
Prior to that day had visions marred with what seemed like thick clouds growing from earth like trees and grass, springing from different sources. His ears did not know peace as thunders and lightening made of man’s prowess spread across their skies constantly making it an epidermis of fiery works. He could recount events that led them to this rock that had no homely resemblance but was most comforting as it was a relief from what seemed to be in a distance.
The rock seemed to have been designed by God for a time as this. The hard moist ground gave the nights a chilling effect than any waterbeds, with the palm leaves giving it a cushion effect. His father had told him to be brave especially when he was not in sight. No one cried: not him; not his pregnant mum nor his younger brother who was but a child.
What defines bravery to a boy a little above ten, when all around him is chaos? The best he could do was stay put with his mum where they where and pray that tomorrow would birth hope anew. They would pray till they closed their eyes, for to sleep was madness. They would pray for their father. They would pray for their home. And they would pray for peace.
Some nights reminded him of war movies he had watched with his dad as they were fond of each other. His dad would cuddle him like he was barely nine months old as they watch movies together with scary sights. That was the closest he had ever been to any warlike experience before this. The major difference to him was the fact that in the movies his dad was with him, this time, he was not. When the shells rang at night through the distance, he would pray his younger brother was not awakened. But when he did, he would cuddle him back to sleep as he sings in a cool calmly tone:
“The shells may sound like thunders
The night may seem darker than others
Stars may not be in the sky
But He watches over the apple of His eye”
His brother loves that song and smiles with his eyes closed as he says like a toddler “a do u no” (how do you know)? He would smile as he replies his baby brother “I had a friendly conversation with Him today and that’s what he said to me”
He continues to sing as his brother falls back asleep with a smile and asks “Dada” (daddy)? He would reply “he’ll be with us tomorrow.”
The mum holds her tears as that has been his response for weeks now. She was grateful to God for a man-child that had bravery beyond men. More so, she was glad he was her son. “Mum everything will be alright” he would say as he notices his mum’s sob in this new found home.
Glad and amazed at sights beyond words, he smiles with such a calm that bore more a relief than excitement as to pleasant beholding and great display. Quite not expected as such sight had not been seen for quite some time now. He looks at his binoculars and remembers the very time his dad returned from the Bahamas and handed him the binoculars. He was not thrilled as he expected some real toys but did not get any. His dad told him “you are becoming a man and toys are for children. Some day you would value this more than all the toys you ever had”. Now, that statement made lots of sense.
“Come down from there you’re staying too long” his mum said, as she was worried for their safety. He stays put as he says to his mum “I can see clearly now. No shells ring, no thunders, no cloudy skies, no lightening, it is over!” He wears a wide smile as he further looks through his binoculars, and notices someone right before him.
“Were you brave!?” His dad yells out from the little distance between them. He runs towards his dad as they embrace and he says: “Yes dad, I believe I was. Thanks for the binoculars.”