If I had wings I would fly all of these children to loving families. Ones that will treat them to Ice Cream Sunday’s, fun filled holidays, water fights, hot chocolate, grandparents, board games, and a loving family pet. . . If only I had the wings.
The sun had already set down below the mountains and the stars started to peak through the night sky when I heard the echoing voices of the children in Imani Hall. It’s Friday night, the one night a week where all the children gather, no adults, and sing. Its beautiful. A drum made out of cow hide starts striking a tune, and 100 children start to sing. For over 2 hours, song, dance, clapping, prayer, smiles – and love. It was beautiful. We were surrounded by children’s singing prayer. . . words simply can’t describe the emotions that start start to pump through my veins.
I sat down on the floor, tucked away in a corner. I wanted to close my eyes, absorb every moment; to cherish every moment. As I was listening, my head down, my eyes closed, leaning against a cold brick wall, a 7 year old girl named Ann crawled up on my lap. She rested her head against my arm and grasped my index finger. – No words were exchanged, just comfort.
At this point I was holding back tears (and still am as I as I type this to the light of my laptops screen).
She is wearing a dress and a wool sport coat and a hat with star shaped sun glasses. She’s as cute as can be.
Want to hear them sing?
I remember being 6 years old and sitting the same way with my Grandpa. Sitting on his lap and looking at how big his hands were compared to mine. I remember the feeling of being embraced by true love. It was safe.
It breaks my heart thinking that this is a rare commodity to Ann. A single moment she is sitting down and embracing with every ounce of emotion.
The next day I sat down with some of the elders of the church for tea. Reverend Muindi, an elderly man that showcases his life experiences within the solemn beautiful wrinkles of his skin. Each one as if it was put their by a sculptor. Every word is spoken slowly with intent. He told us a story about a boy that had a hunch on his back. He was an orphan child, nobody to love him, nobody to care. The priest went out and asked one of the parents of his congregation to treat the boy as if it was her own son
With one son of her own already, she agreed.
His hunch grew with time. She told her biological son, “Never ask him about his hunch. I MEAN NEVER!”. Her son agreed.
As they grew up, years went by and they were inseparable. Playing futbol, studying, reading books, and watching meteors during late august nights
One night as they sat beneath the stars, the boy got the courage to ask him about the hunch on his back.
“How did you get your hunch?” the boy asked.
“God gave it to me.” He replied.
A moment went by.
“Well, what is it?”
“It’s my wings.” – – “Wings?”
“God gave me wings, so one day I can be with my mom again. When I get strong enough, they will burst out and I can fly to heaven to be with her again. I’ll be able to just fly away.” He said.
I realize how blessed I am to have amazing parents, family, and friends. To Ann, she doesn’t have a hunch, but she does have wings. Tonight, they placed her on my lap, embraced my finger, and filled my soul with their amazing voices.
Photo Credit Featured Image: Nick Crowl, Think Kindness Board of Advisers