A TALE OF THREE LESSONS
Life’s Lessons Never Stop, Learners Are The Ones Who Do
There is always something new to learn in our every day life. And sometimes, the things we learn are not necessarily that we didn’t know them before, but that most often, they come as new learning or a reminder of the things we have come in contact with but which we have forgotten.
Those who know me know that I love morning or evening walks. Not because they are good for physical health, but mostly because that’s how I have come to learn most things.
Ngong Hills is one of the many tourist sites in Kenya and it’s well known for its collection of seven hills and the beautiful landscape which is part of the Rift Valley system.
Ngong Hills is in Kajiado County, which is a few kilometers from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Living somewhere in Kajiado county in a place called Kiserian naturally birthed in me a desire to go on a hike to Ngong Hills, which was not very far from where I lived. Well, so I thought until I put my feet to the road for a good early morning hike.
Watching the sun set over Ngong Hills from the rooftop of my apartment almost every day, I was deceived to think that the walking distance from my place to the hills should not be more than thirty minutes or at most one hour. But I definitely was about to find out that was not the case.
On this particular morning I made up my mind to finally walk the distance to Ngong Hills. Even though Ngong Hills is a tourism site where you pay to enter, if you are using the main gate, but because I could see the hills in the distance from the back of the house, I figured there should be a way to get there using the back roads. So off I went.
As I walked using the back road, unsure of the path to take, but using the placement of the hills I could see in the distance for navigation, the only path before me that made sense based on the direction of the hills was definitely going to take me through the bushes and farmlands. That was cool for me really, because it was a beautiful opportunity to walk through the bushes with the natural and refreshing smell of green life.
As I walked into the footpath through a farmland I saw a lady in front of me going towards the same direction I was going. I walked up to her to ask for directions and she said I was actually on the right path towards Ngong Hills. So I walked ahead of her.
I came to a road literally in the midst of beautiful forest leading to the hills. The road was not tarmacked but good to walk on and even drive on.
As I walked, a marathoner doing his morning training ran past me. A few minutes later another one past me going the same direction of Ngong. Then I realized that that particular route was often in use by the athletes for training. As I watched the runners pass me each at different times, something occurred to me and which became my first lesson: IT’S OK TO RUN ALONE.
I thought about this seemingly old statement and it made sense to remind myself that in life I may not have anyone telling me or cheering me to keep going on my path and that I have no excuse not to keep moving because there are no cheerleaders or fans around. For in that forest path, there were no single fans, friends or family members to tell these athletes to keep going, even though they could have stopped and no one would know they did. That was definitely profound for me and a good lesson at that.
I continued walking on the path towards the hills, got past some houses and at that moment I heard the voice of the lady that I had met earlier. She was calling me to tell me something so I stopped to hear her. Apparaently she was branching into one of the compounds along the road. Then she told me something profound. She said “Do not turn to your right or to your left. Just keep going on this same road and you will get to Ngong Hills.”
I thanked her and kept going but in that moment what she said made a lot of impression in my mind. I remembered the words of king David to his son Solomon. Concerning the words of wisdom from his father, Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:26 “Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.”
In all of our journeys in life and in everything we do there are always things that come to distract us. They are things that make us turn to the left or the right and by that lose focus from the goal and vision ahead of us. And more often than not, these things that are our distractions are things that we think are neccessary for our lives but which are not if we look deeply from the eyes of wisdom. For instance, for most people who I have met over time, too much “knowledge” about a thing they plan to do became their distraction from moving forward in the establishment of that very thing. There is a place for knowledge and data, but sometimes wisdom also demands that one is “ignorant” to boldly step into the future while trusting that God will guide the path to what it is we have been given to establish on earth. We just have to learn not to TURN TO THE RIGHT OR THE LEFT by staying FOCUSED on the goal.
I continued my walk while I kept my mind engaged on the lessons I was learning. As I got closer to Ngong Hills, (I knew I was close because I could see clearly the huge wind power turbines not far from me on the hills) I passed a particular place on the road with a very rich smell of Eucalyptus. It was so rich and refreshing that I wondered why the smell was so concentrated in that particular part of the long road. Then I looked up and saw that just by the road is this huge Eucalyptus tree and other trees. I felt like sitting under the tree and just breathing in the rich smell, but quickly realized that that would defeat the second lesson. So I continued walking. I passed a few more farmlands, walked past some Masais, saw some happy kids fetching water and others chasing their cattle. The air was rich with the smell of cow dung. I finally got to Ngong Hills after two hours of walking. Then came my third lesson.
Ngong Hills is definitely beautiful and refreshing. You can’t miss the magic of the lush greens around and the constant wind that powers the turbines. And the vast valley of greenness below the hills was definitely breath taking and magical. I was very thirsty and because I had thought the journey was not going to be so long, I had not come with my water bottle. A mistake I don’t want to remember.
Almost as I got there I was already thinking of how I was going to walk back home for another two hours through bushes I was not so sure if I would remember. But then came my third lesson. LEARN TO ENJOY THE LITTLE WINS.
As I heard that in my spirit, I realized how often we are under so much pressure to meet goals that we don’t appreciate and enjoy our little moments of victories. So I relaxed a bit more and spent some time meditating and even did a video before getting back on the road towards home. I got home about 1pm and was definitely happy to have taken that long walk, especially with the lessons that came with it.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.