When I was a boy, I lived in a rural environment. And in our town, we had many chiefs, but one of them stood out. He was a retired soldier and he sells drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. I remember when we will want to buy crates or a single bottle of soft drink and I will be sent by my mother to buy from his shop.

I will happily bounce out of the front door with either a wrapper or polythene nylon. I don’t go out much at that age, so I enjoy the cool caress of the wind whenever I am out. The wrapper is to make a headrest I can place the crate of soft drink on, but if it is a bottle or two of soft drinks, the nylon will do. It is a stone throw from our own compound, so it was not a stress.

We fondly nicknamed this retired soldier Old Soldier, I don’t think I remember seeing him sober, he is always half-drunk or fully drunk. Though there are times he will tell people that come to buy drinks that he is sober, we will laugh because we don’t believe.  He always looked drunk, Smiles!

On this day, he was half-sober, and he looked at me from his sitting position, and ask for what I wanted. I remember telling him that I want to buy seven bottles of coke. He looked at me for a couple of seconds, then proceeded to the fridge and arranged the chilled bottle of cokes on the counter. At this time, each bottle of coke was sold for fifty naira. So, I gave him money worth of seven bottles of coke. I gently packed the bottles of coke in the nylon I had brought and took my leave.  At this time of my life and age, what I admired about this old and retired soldier was his will to keep living. I never got used to his intense feeling, but his laugh was a welcome sound, deep and boundless…

I blinked my eyes now, remembering that a decade has passed. Life seems so short at times, and we tend to take it for granted. We can live for hundreds of years on the earth, but it will still be too short to learn all we have to learn and innovate everything imaginable. A hundred years will still be too short to share all the endless love of God. The life we live on earth is finite and precious. We must love, laugh, and joy in the fullness of God. We must bask in the revelation of how beautiful the present is, can be, and will be if we start to see the world with eyes of hope and light.

We must not let worry be our best friend while we isolate ourselves from friends, family, and all that truly matters. Thank you.


In God’s Love,

Peace Okunola.