There are some things that you cannot just help but notice. This tree was one of them. It stood, almost in defiance of all the green, at the heart of the arboretum. Its yellow flowers outnumbered its green leaves. I thought I was the only one gazing at it. However, almost all the friends we were with had noticed it as well; its peculiarity could not just be ignored. Of course, it took a little bit longer for the guys to admit it but admit it they did.
At the risk of squeezing an observation dry, I could not help muse over the lessons that this tree offered. I was reminded of the global financial crisis of 2011. Many grumbled but there were a few who went on with their lives, unruffled by the crisis. These were the blossoms in hard times. The more recent Westgate saga is still fresh in our minds. All that bloodletting cannot be easily forgotten. Nay. It can never be forgotten. Perhaps we just have to learn to live with them and pray that the hands of time would bring some much needed healing. Nonetheless, out of these hard times, a few blossomed and inspired the whole country to unity albeit, momentarily. I will not forget the picture of this cop with a gun in one hand and a baby(who seemed totally undisturbed) in the other or that of a child running towards Abdul haji. Now there are yellow flowers for you.
I borrow the title of this post from Charles Dickens’ novel “Hard Times”. Allow me to recommend a character. Stephen Blackpool is his name. Now there is a fine specimen of a human being. Perhaps not in the physical sense but so much in morals. He does not have all the titles that come with nobility but boy, he oozes every bit of it in his manner of speech and conduct towards all and sundry. To many in Coketown, he is “The Idiot”, a traitor of the worst kind. However, to the reader, he is a blossom in hard times. I have learned a thing or two from the fellow.
I rest my case there but before I do, I take a bow for all the blossoms in hard times; for those who refuse to take a bribe just because if they don’t, someone else will; for those who walk away, at the risk of appearing naïve, from that fatal invitation for a rendezvous in between the sheets; for the few who stand up for true justice, when most clamour for relative peace at the expense of the former and lastly, for those who stick to the narrow way, when it does not make sense to do so but for the prize at the end of the road.