My father always kept all books neatly stashed away around the house. He had nicely done shelves placed in different corners of our home and these corners to me were like little dream worlds to visit, sit and behold the contents of these books. There were adult books but we the children had our fair share of kid’s books stashed alongside these “big people’s books”.
I was a very shy girl growing up; heck I was timid too yet kind and gentle. I usually preferred to be outside the center of any activity as I hated spotlights and any form of attention directed my way. I also loathed having to explain to my peers the essence of who I was. Did we even know who we were at such tender ages? 😵 😵
Anyway – the books at home! 📕 📗 📘 📙 It was always a joy leaving school and rushing home to my little routine that involved being obedient to Mom’s strict “after school” long list of instructions: take a bathe, do home-work, take dry tea and bread and then if we were blessed, we had a hour to play a game or two. However, the one thing I always looked forward to; the one thing that had no strict instruction; the one thing that I got more encouragement than reprimand; the one thing that I got lost into; the one thing that was my world, my solace was those BOOKS! I looked forward to diving deep and indulging into the pages of those books like a bear looks forward to sleeping a winter away! I was sold out to the writers’ ways of penning their thoughts, to the way the illustrators tactfully drew some of images in the books, to the places the books took me…. I was sold out!!! I even graduated to reading the “Big people’s” books once I was done re-reading the kid’s books over and over and over!!
In my mind, in my dreams, in everything I wondered about; these books took me on long dreamy, colorful and adventurous expeditions. I sailed over the oceans and seas on big merchant ships, sometimes dodging pirates to find buried treasure; some days I took long flights passing through security and attended to by beautiful looking air hostesses. I went to New York and stood atop Lady Liberty, I climbed Ayers rock in the middle of Australia, I was a diamond miner that would traverse the bellies of the Kimberly mines. On other days, I got lost in big thick lush forests admiring the birds, the insects, the soft brown earth and got scared of panthers creeping out of nowhere. Thanks to “Nancy Drew” I was a bona-fide spy for a long time. Curious about everything that made movement around me. I solved so many cases that the Kabaka of Buganda gave me my own Ssaza in recognition of my good service.
Then there were the Good News Bible pictorial illustrations alongside some of the chapters and verses. I had my little note book aside where I would copy them because to-date they still fascinate me. I’d read the stories in the bible and then close my eyes and this particular day, I sat with Jonah in the big fish that had just swallowed him – we didn’t talk much; I just looked at him sad and hungry and couldn’t do much to help him. Then – I might know what heaven looks like because in my mind’s eye, I visited heaven after reading about the many heavenly encounters people had had and my oh my Jesus had long lush hair and it was made of gold; my bed in heaven was so big I promised myself to invite my siblings and friends for a pillow party. The flowers were as soft as the cotton we had just learnt about in my history class and the food stores were bottomless… these never stopped!!
Many adult years later and I am still a dreamer. The dreams are pretty refined and objective for every obvious reason but I still dream anyway because the day I stop to dream, is the day the essence of who I am will stop. I am not that shy little timid girl anymore that loathed being around people much but I am still that girl that dreams but dreams in colour.
A wise young lady once said “….your dreams are valid“; I add to that and say “..while you dream away, dream in colour“