When we are born as tiny babies, the mother, the birth attendant or midwife first hear a piercing cry as a symbol of the beginning of our lives. The crying later will signal discomfort or pain and laughter will represent all that is joyful. We have a tremendous need for human connecting through the physical warmth of our mother. Our most immediate needs are food and water. When I first saw my first born son as a few hours old baby, I was amazing at his sucking reflex. We need food and then water, shelter, and clothing.
Our soul thrives and is drawn to the soil or dongo, nature, strong tastes, smells and scents, beautiful sounds and wonders of language, sights, and all the bright colors.
If you were born in the village like this author was, it means you were surrounded with soul reflected in bright colors. The shelter I lived in, the soil, the foods, water, and physical bodies had vivid colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. Since the village was located inside a wilderness, it means I saw and heard birds, cows, goats, chickens, wild animals, and saw trees, grass, bright sunshine and blue skies of the Savannah. Because my mother carried me on her back, I felt the physical intimacy and saw the physical beauty in what was around me as she went about her daily chores. There was also the Tumbuka language, the laughter, and singing that I heard every day.
All of these influences and experiences in our lives in the context of the village continuously feed our soul as we grow older. The soul that is life is like a candle light. There are so many forces that seek to blow it out. This is why as humans we spend all our lives struggling and fighting to protect our only precious candle light which is life itself. We have to carp our hands around it to protect the candle light.
When we are born our candle light which is the soul can be blown out if we lack food, shelter, and water. If we do not experience the beauty of language in our mother tongue, the smile, the human connection, the bright and soulful experiences of nature, our soul might shrivel and the candlelight might be blown out and we can die an early death.
As large numbers of humans beings migrated to large urban centers for the first time during the Industrial Revolution in Europe, that was the beginning of our disconnection with nature and being born and living in a soulful environment. Today one of the worst and most soulless places is the modern jail with its 10 by 15 ft. tiny rooms with grey windowless walls with white electric light. Next to that, the least soulful place is that small modern apartment in an urban or city environment on the 10 floor. Because as humans we crave a soulful environment, this is why some apartments may be decorated with some of the most vivid colors and furnishings. The occupants may insist on eating natural foods and hanging artful pieces on the wall and shelves.
Those who feed their souls least, will risk the candlelight that is life being blown out sooner than they would ever have intended or wanted. This is why feeding the soul as much as possible where ever you are is most important. People who live the country side, rural areas and in the wilderness live with soul. They may be the most satisfied with life because they do not need to do much to feed their souls every day except get up.
Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.