- But became a part of the world’s consciousness ever since the ancient Africans envisioned Amenta - the earth made new - bliss reestablished for the good men or women who successfully endures the trials of this world.
The wish for long life ranks first among human desires. And coupled with it, there is the even grander wish for eternal life, coming sometime later as a reward for having lived well this time around. The glorified wish for living eternally, cultivated in this world, is not presently accessible, but hidden somewhere beyond the blue.
But became a part of the world’s consciousness ever since the ancient Africans envisioned Amenta - the earth made new - bliss reestablished for the good men or women who successfully endures the trials of this world.
The Good Shepherd will meet the victors at the end, and will weigh their deeds before presenting them to His father as being worthy of entering life; so the doctrine goes. After that, the beneficent father will usher the redeemed into his eternal existence. But until then there is the matter of living in this world.
The matter of considering longevity begins in midlife, when one observes the changes brought about by time. That person sees an increasingly different representation of himself/herself in the mirror, a slow fading of accustomed features; then one contemplates the consequences of such changes.
One may wish to deny this, try to hold on to the past, to youthfulness, to life itself, but such attempts are futile. We must die. That inevitability is lost upon the young, and rightly so, for life is not worth living with the morbid thought of its eventual dissolution resting, front and foremost, upon the liver’s mind. There needs to be a time of denial of fact, which will allow the young to be youthful and throw caution to the wind, take risks, dream beyond their capacity to fulfill before settling down into the reality of the grim reckoning of the ages.
The Africans of old formulated an everlasting solution to man’s ultimate destiny. They devised a fork in the road, a divergent path which splits human destiny into two opposing outcomes. Humans may go up or down, to heaven or to hell, so to speak. But such considerations are often disregarded until we are closer to that fork in the road. For the young, life is just for living. But for those among us, who have begun to notice the autumn blossoms adorning the tree of our life, the bowing limbs with leaves falling too easily to the ground, the broken twig, which does not bud anew in spring; become more reflective on the path. We contemplate the inevitable choice of destinies. And wonder of the reason for this brief and glorious dance in the sunshine.
Life is indeed good; it is that thing, which offers us a window to peer from the darkness into this fabulous world of possibilities. But I dare say, its fleeting flash, like one delightful moment of ecstasy, of whichever kind, leaves us desiring more of it, and increasingly so as it begins to slip away, irretrievably.
What can I say? How does one who loves living deeply, reconcile this brief joy? To this I say, we ought to consider life as a continuum, a stream of vivifying flashes of existence, of joy mixed in with sorrows; orchestrated from beyond and removed from our control, for a wise but unrevealed purpose, which leaves us to speculate. Perhaps a purpose which itself grants more meaning, for it gives us a cause to reflect upon purpose, if we choose to do so.
Having travelled across the world, I find that living here in the cradle where man originated, most reviving. Each morning I awake with a sense of purpose to the sound of birds, and the perennial call for prayer, and somehow I can’t help but unite the two audible aspirations into a plea of praise, a celebration of life.
I imagine that this place holds a deeper celebratory purpose beyond my presumption, something which the daily grind may overshadow, for life has greater purpose than the struggle for sustenance. Nevertheless, as the years slip by, I imagine that we may come to reflect upon purpose and meaning, and compelled by necessity, answers may unfold. I delight in living here beneath the African sky.
Patrick O. Creary is the CEO of Grand Africa Literary Initiative Ltd