Friday, March 27, 2015

The Golden Years

The golden years are not a period that we consciously live through and celebrate as they happen. The problems of the day occupy our minds as we go about our mundane tasks and dream of a brighter future. I remember a happy childhood when I walked to school through a green lush valley that today is unrecognizable because it is a built-up city suburb. My biggest worry was stepping on a snake in the tall grass or being late for the first bell. During my youth we enjoyed visiting cinemas that were accessible for a paltry price and discos that blared loud music during the day avoiding night time when a dictator's wolves hounded innocent citizens. As college students we crawled the bars at night enjoying our first taste of freedom from parental rules and only worried about finding a clean, working toilet during a water crisis. Then we became adults and could finally pay our bills at proper restaurants. We traveled abroad and returned to tell tales of far away places but we also spent a lot of time planning friends' funerals and wary of navigating a love life without catching HIV/AIDS. One day, maybe, I will look at these years when am working in a war-torn country and think, 'Yeah! Those were the days!

At 50 I know that nostalgia comes after surviving imminent threats long enough to remember the good times that were blurred by the dangers of a particular time and place. So perhaps these are your golden years, embrace them!

— feeling nostalgic.

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