“… She is far more precious than jewels (vs.10)… She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands (vs.13)… She rises while it is yet at night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens (vs.15) … She opens her mouth with wisdom, And the teaching of kindness on her tongue (vs.26)…She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not not eat the bread of idleness (vs.27)…” Proverbs 31(KJV)
I awoke to a delicate yet comforting aroma of spicy beef samosas. I thought my senses were messing around as they always do… See, I have been training my mind to be positive in pursuit of a happy life. It is not about making lemons into lemonade. It is about assuming that the lemons do not exist … and going to a Happy Place (mentally).
But this is not Happy place. I am at my aunt’s. The place I like to call Little paradise.
There are a few things you need to know about auntie. First, she is very beautiful. Despite being in her early 30s, married and with two kids, her charm and natural beauty is that of a twenty- year old. She is equally prone to the whistling and the cat-calls that her nieces attract in the streets. Secondly, she is a resourceful woman. Every time I visit her, I find something different; A new TV set, another dining set, a flower bed, a new flower vase, a new set of sofas and matching curtains. Her husband often tells her that her lifestyle exudes that of a wealthy empress, living in Runda. Even though she is not wealthy , she always finds a way to move forward, one day at a time.
That is not all. She is hard working. She tells me that she wakes up at 6.00 a.m. every day, sometimes earlier and begins to work. By 8.00a.m., all the house chores including laundry, dishes, surfaces and the compound are clean. By 9:00a.m. her dynamic business is opened until 8.30p.m.
Lastly, She has found her Alehandro. The “perfect” husband. Their lives are beautifully attuned to each other; just like pieces of the same puzzle. Since she closes her business premises late in the evening, he takes care of dinner and kid’s homework.
With those few characteristics, I believe that you can see the woman in Proverbs 31 exists. I’ve seen her with my own eyes.
So back to this morning, I wake up at 7.30p.m. to a delightful breakfast. Everything is sparkling clean and the air in the house is so fresh and crisp. The bronze-hued curtains have been drawn to allow hints of daybreak radiance to reflect onto the shiny surfaces. She freshens up and before I am done taking my delightful mug of ginger tea, she wishes me a lovely day and leaves the house.
I’m in awe of this woman. I want to become this woman. And I begin to practice. Her inspiration fuels my work.
Later in the evening, after a very productive day, I get off from work early, enthused and ready to practice the womanly duties that I’ve learnt . I roll up the sleeves and start scrubbing. I kneel down to scrub. I climb and scrub. I bend over backwards to scrub. Scrubbidy scrub scrub..! sweepidy sweep sweep..! Get the picture? Not yet! Wash washidy wash…! Wipe wipedy wipe…!
Nearly 4 hours later, the work is done.
EXTREMELY fatigued, I crush onto the sofa. On the up side, the house is sparklier than Johny Bravo’s teeth. To congratulate myself, I take a short power nap.
Few minutes later, I am startled by indistinct chattering and sudden uproars. I spot mud tracks racing to and from the backdoor into the house. Before I can explode in anger, Ginger, the kitten, with all his cuteness comes in from dirt bathing and rests on the white seat covers. At this point I am too tired to make a fuss. All I can do is quietly watch the signs of my travail disappear. The house and the compound slowly go back to the former state.
The irony is that, as the house gets dirtier, it gets more blissful and bursts into life. More people (and pets) have come in. That’s when I realize that I wouldn’t trade them for a thing, not even for a cleaner house.
And the purpose of cleaning is more vivid. My attitude changes. I learn that women clean for the sake of loved ones. If nobody lived in those premises, they would be no need to clean.
“Homes are truly for free expression, not for good impression.”