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Who am I Lord that Thou art so mindful of me?

As I turn 58 today, I would love to think that I did something exceptionally great to make it this far, but the truth is that some people did even better but never made it this far. The mystery of WHY remains in the hands of the creator, and I count myself lucky to be HERE still today, experiencing NOW.

Life is full of mysteries. The mystery of life and death, success or failure, wealth or poverty.

The only certainty in life is death, but even our journey to it remains a mystery until the very last minute!

Like butterflies, we change and transform each developmental phase into an opportunity to make our mark as we are not promised the next.

In the month of June 2022, in the space of four days, I lost two childhood friends, and it dawned on me that every minute is sublime.

As I am typing and you are reading, life is being made and lost. Yet, today on this beautiful planet, under the blue skies warmed by the rising sun’s rays, stands ‘dayo Adedayo alive and still becoming!

Memories trickle in pictures, sounds and hazy speeches; the recollection of an unassuming childhood. I see a group of young boys running into the forest, ready to hunt giant rats, snails or fishes from the stream, without a care or fear, looking only towards what lies ahead.

As we carefully arrange and burn wet and dry leaves and feed them into holes of the anthill, the familiar smell of the rising smoke as it fills the grasscutter holes. We wait on the opposite end, sticks in hand, for the hopefully uncomfortable resident to find an escape route.

The sound of the clattering sticks, stamping feet and yelps as a cousin mistakenly stamps his feet on that of a friend in our frenzied chase of the escaping grasscutter. Most of the people in this memory have long since joined our ancestors, and I sometimes wonder how much of these times stayed with them and if they had once in a while reflected as I often do about a time when life was simpler, at a time when we had no worries and knew no better.

In school, I was far from being brilliant, but I have learnt that brilliance will take you only up to a certain point; you’re able to adapt to new environments and trends, plus dedicated focus will take you to the next level. In science, species survive not because of strength but because of the ability to adapt to the changing environment. So, we find that the most brilliant student may work for an average but a highly adaptable student in the real world.

Indeed, we may say that life is a great mystery, and the study of life is the most important study of all.

We can decide to occupy ourselves with great philosophical questions like; why the inequalities in life?

Why are some so rich and others wretchedly poor?

Some so beautifully formed, and others pitifully disabled.

Some are intellectually gifted, and others have an intellectual disability.

Why would rich children become poor while those of the poor become rich?

All these are great, but my gaze has already turned inwards.

Today, my quest is personal. I am reflecting and looking at my life. Ultimately, when I look back, I cannot but be in awe of God for what He has done for a poor boy and sinner like me with human blood flowing in my veins. So, I stand in gratitude.

In this life, I have tasted the bitterness of enemies disguised as friends and, on the other hand, experienced the true blessings of friends who are like my blood and are ready to go the extra mile for me.

Gratitude for the countless times I have travelled on the roads that many had died crossing, times I have been in troubled waters that have consumed hundreds of people, but I somehow made it out I scratched. Relationships that could have cost me my life but were liberated from. Indeed, my cup runneth over with goodness and mercies of the Most High God!

So here I am today, looking back, 58 years of living, 50 years of life without a father, learning to do things MY WAY, and hoping for the best and still dreaming, hoping and working towards that future but utilizing the present that I hold in the palm of my hand. Optimistic but unsure of what truly lies ahead!

Thank you, Lord, for all you have done and have yet to do.

And the mystery of life continues.

©’dayo Adedayo

DAYO ADEDAYO, is a Nigerian Photographer, Artist and Author who celebrated his 58th Birthday on July 1, 2022

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