Real Connections Often Go Beyond Words

When I was young, about eight years old, something peculiar about our goats happened in our home. I had learnt the aspect of herding at a rather young age. I used to accompany my dad to the fields and could spend time there till late in the evening. I even remember one day when we constructed a makeshift structure of twigs to protect us from the rain and it worked so well. I loved how my brothers and I related with our dad until you could think we were simply friends.

That was back in the day when there were no cell phones save for the telephones that had wires running across our farms. We imagined the wires carried some tiny people in them who transmitted the information from one end to the other. That is so funny to think of in this age and era but that is how we were connected back then.

It was an era of going to your next neighbor to say good morning instead of calling them via phone. And because booth telephones were rare, ineffective and expensive, they were not used frequently. This made people travel home to spend time with their families. People valued physical presence back in the day. Things have changed since then. It is a world of the internet, social media, computers and phones. Physical presence doesn’t matter as such.

Change had to come someday. It was expected. Change means progress, it means development and it extends to liberalization. The environment has changed. The people have changed. The way of life has changed. Associations and connections between folks have changed too.

I have realized how far I have deviated and so back to my herding story. We used to have some nice goats which I could herd with my brothers. There were no afternoon classes for lower primary back in the day. This gave us the opportunity to take our many goats for herding in the afternoons. Bushes were thick and dense. They have since disappeared.

After serious eating during lunch, our obvious task was to take the cows and goats for grazing. This was the routine and even the goats had learned the trend. They could see us coming in shortly after noon and they could start ‘crying’ because they knew their time had come. We became so good friends with them until our smell or even voice was enough to give our goats confidence that their stomach matters were safe for that day. I remember we measured the satisfaction of the goats and cows with the size of their stomachs after grazing.

So every new day we could feed them to outsize the previous day. Remember it was all natural grass, shrubs and water in the nearby river. A balanced diet for that matter. We didn’t feed them Napier grass often. You can imagine the struggle to feed the goats till their bellies bulged like rugby balls. This gave us a special connection with the animals to a level of us giving them names which they understood very well. If you were the goats and cows, tell me how you could not look forward to us coming home for yet another herding?

dog-and-girl
Real connections often go beyond words. Photo Courtesy of pakobserve.net

So one day we sold some two doublet goats.  They were teenage goats. A young he-goat and the other a she-goat. They loved us as well as our home so much that when they reached their new home, they wouldn’t stop protesting. They slept, though they didn’t, that night and when they had chance to escape the next day, they came directly home. At evening, after a lengthy walk, the two goats were standing at the door of their pen in our home. That was interesting. The deep connection we had with the goats was so strong until they could not afford to get lost while retracing their way back home.

This incidence came to my mind about a week ago when I attended a national three-day convention meeting that was held at the Advent Hill in Ongata Rongai. It was largely comprised of elderly people. I felt so special to be amidst them. In fact we were only two of us who were youths and new to the convention held annually across the continent I suppose as well as globally. The rest of the group seemed connected in a special way and I couldn’t love but marvel at how they carried themselves. It was a deep connection observed and felt, not one to be told. They seemed to be in harmony with the serene environment around them.

There was something more. This place had some beautiful antelopes walking freely within the campus. They seemed to be connected in a special way with the people in those premises as well as other flora and fauna. I saw as many natural insects and birds that I could not count. I imagined how the people were able to instill confidence and trustworthiness in the animals to a level they walked freely and bravely in the campus. To some people, that was food presenting itself.

This incidences connote the connections that go beyond words. The connections we had with our goats and cows that made them know us even from smell and voice. Connections I observed which rekindled the joy and warmth at the convention when this old parents came together to lodge at that place, learn and enjoy. It is this connection that I trust as real. No words, no internet but deeply visible.

It is this connection that I am interested to see in people. It is the secret to fight fake news, an avenue to help us iron out issues to do with disunity and conflict. We need to get deep and personal relationships with each other and with our creator to get back our families’ joy and happiness. It is the antidote for blossoming friendships and associations.

The most beautiful things are felt and not said. The real connections are felt and not said. The greatest feelings steam out of people and are not often explained. They are felt. These are the connections we need to cultivate. Those of identifying ourselves with smell and expressions. The sheep and shepherd type.

End.

Copyright @ 2018.  

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at ndegegeoffrey@gmail.com

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