No place Like Home


IMAGINE how interesting it would be to take a trip to see how your ancestors lived. In a sense, I made such a trip to the home of my ancestors. I was born in the city and my parents had lived all their life outside the home of their birth.
That summer, father was out of work and the family at a breakfast table agreed to go home to see these ones we had long been told about. A night to the morning of our departure, my mind ran into many things. They could seize father (he had long been outside home). They might kill us as they are so backward. Many thinking outcropped and died within me.
When we finally got home to meet these gentle people, they were astonished to find us at their door, speaking in their dialect! Picture the scene.
“Son where have you been? They ask in their local dialect and kept torching him all over his body to know well he is.
“Because I have been busy with work in the city,” father replied.
“But many things have happened since you left home!”
They were puzzled.
Many doors swung open, and we get a glimpse of a lifestyle that seems to belong in the distant past. Instead of lightbulbs, there are oil lamps; instead of cars, bicycle; instead of running water, a well and windmill; instead of radios, singing.
What impresses us the most is the humility and modesty of those whom we are visiting.
Father walked in freely to a cramped old room with all happiness. It was his home. Be it ever bad there is no place like home. Everyone loved him. I have never seen father receiving such loving attention since he became my father.
Soon, word spreads that a son had come from the city. Much coming, much going. Food and gifts came and we could not keep a large share of it. Many request that we visit their relatives, which we gladly did and grandfather who was too old to walk offered to accompany us.
The children observe us with great interest where ever we. Later, we were invited to eat a noon meal with grandfather’s old daughter who was my aunt. A long wooden table is loaded with good things to eat. But these foods were very local to my liking. But dad would eat. So I would eat too. He was making me see them as my people henceforth. Before the meal, each one says a silent prayer. As the dishes are passed, we chat about the city and its busy life, and they tell us something of their life on the farm. The children whisper and giggled throughout the meal, tempting us to talk to them in return.
Wow! Home was good. I told myself

E Ugokwe

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