This month,I had two things to celebrate;moving into my new home and my birthday that comes late in the month.
But moving into a new home has its tense moments;strange sounds of the night in new neighbourhood, unwelcome visitors both human and animals.
I always was sure that the first visitor into my new home would be a monitor lizard that lives in a heap of building stones in the compound.
But with time, I had come to accept and respect him as a friend. Whenever we locked eye contact as he sunned himself,he would respectably slither under the stones.
So on this first nite home, I got an unexpected and unwelcome visitor. It was around midnight when I noticed movement from the corner of my eye. Right there, stretched out in the corner, was a black snake. Yes, a snake!
I know you are already thinking, “Oh, it must have been a millipede, people love exaggerating.” Now, I am not a zoologist, but I know a snake when I see one. It was not exactly a python, but it was a snake, about 45 cm long.
The idea of reaching for a pistol crossed my mind, but then I remembered that i didn’t have one and I was not in a movie.
A few more seconds wasted and it would slither under the carpet, and then I would have to move from this particular room Minus the carpet or invite friends to dance over the carpet for a whole day before i could be sure that the miserable snake has been completely flattened to the floor. The only thing that resembles a weapon in my house is the mwiko (cooking stick).
Going by its size, you would be lucky to strike a mosquito dead with it. My soaring adrenaline made me grab the metallic grill of my meko gas cooker.
I hit hard and pressed until the poor thing was cut into two.
With shaky hands, I placed my weapon over it and covered the murder scene with the closest thing I could find — a newspaper. I went to bed still terrified. The morning arrived way too fast and I dreaded the idea of having to take out the carcass.
I armed myself with a lengthy broom and dust pan. “Take a deep breath, you can do this. Wait, what if it’s not even dead, and is just waiting to pounce on you and revenge? What if each of the pieces evolved into a full snake? How about you first put Kenya Wildlife Service on emergency dial?”
Before courage failed me, I flipped the newspaper, and there was….wait for it….nothing!
As it turns out, the ever-so-near army of ants had smelled the meat and come out to feast. By dawn, it was long gone. Ok, you can stop laughing now.
This incident got me thinking, though. Do we dread things in our lives that do not even exist? Have we given up a business venture for fear of what lurks ahead?
I have for a long time wanted to start an environmental organisation to push stakeholders to do away with, or at least reduce, the use of plastic bags.
These bags that we drop without a second thought take years to decompose, the reason proper garbage management remains a distant dream.
But I keep procrastinating, anxious about the uncertainties that lie in such an undertaking.
Fear might also be holding you back from going where you want.
Are you neglecting a special relationship out of fear that you may get hurt? Or are you afraid to commit to a relationship because of the problems you hear accompany marriage?
Are you withholding affection from your spouse because it might not work, anyway? Or have you put off getting a child because of the challenges of raising one?
Take that first step today. You might discover, just like I did, that what lies beneath is simply, well, nothing.
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