The Almond tree in front of Ajanwachukwu Hostel has never stopped reminding me that the platitude, “opportunity comes but once”, is nothing but a fallacy meant to dissuade milksops from working harder when their attempt ends in the annals of failures.
The leaves steaming life reminds me of the enthusiasm that once burnt my heart. It was the perfect depiction of the future I always wanted on the tree; the kind of future where I am the perfect description of “blessed”; where wealth transcends these alien physicalities that get men disenchanted. It was the kind of future that you’d always wish ends up like the story of Cinderella ( not that I ever had the early Cinderella life though).
I looked at the stem and the ugliness my eyes greeted was this ash-coloured, bland looking thing that is nowhere better than the remains of a burnt car. That was my story, you know. I flew from one stage of fame to another; had a syzygy of successes only to crash land in the desert of confusion not quite far from the Sahara Desert. It was a me, myself and I struggle. I looked at the apex of this ever life steaming tree only to find out that I was now nowhere close to the first sheet of leaves that I had been on. I wished that I had at least ended up there instead of this grace to grass travel. I despaired seeing other fruits miles above me; some close to the apogee of this tree; freely seeing things miles away from the gaze of the tree. I could see flowers sprouting out on various parts of the tree announcing that new fruits would soon be in the making. The tree growing in beauty, offering more shade to people who seeked protection from the never ending torment of the sun; yet, I was lying helplessly on the cold ground begging that another opportunity be given to me to be attached to this mighty tree where fruits flourish. I wished that I was not the one that has turned gray; that I was the one hanging and dancing to the violin played by the wind and that I was still green waiting to get ripe one day…… I could see the constant repetition of beds of leaves and wonder why the tree had the privilege of creating such a feature at intervals yet nothing could be done to get me fixed once again to this tree that I cherished. It was not as though I fell off the tree on my own; the wind had viciously blown me away and the tree never cared to tighten it’s grip of me even when I pleaded not to be let go of.
I believed what I heard the ladies that passed by were saying. One of them that deftly daubed her face with different shades of make-up had told the churchy-looking one to take hold the opportunity that had come her way to have this man of her dream in her life and stamped her opinion with the fact that opportunity comes but once.
that was when I gave up the fight. I need not try again Afterall, even humans understand that opportunity is transient and can only last as long as the external beauties of ladies.
So, when the other fruits got ripe and served as the delight of children who showered stones on the tree, I was still found fighting decay. But the rain surprised me. I burgeon a new life. Now, I am a young Almond tree.
Hope you got the moral. Every works together for our good