After about a week of beginning my senior high school education as a day student in Accra Academy, the request to be made a boarder was approved. And unlike some students who found the first few weeks challenging, everything was quite ‘normal’ for me save two – waking up at about 4:30 am to do some dormitory ‘chores’ and Saturday morning inspections. When my parents visited after my first full week of being in the boarding house, I remember my dad laughed really hard when I told them about the former and he in turn, asked in Fante, “What were you expecting…to be waking up at your usual 7:00 am when you were in Primary School?”. I was soon to realize how true Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s popular aphorism my grandfather taught me was: “The height by great men reached and kept, were not attained by a sudden flight. But they while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night”. In Kossi Akplah’s words, “sleep is for the weak”, and I agree wholeheartedly.
I hated Saturday morning inspections because one had to keep every area he occupied squeaky clean - even the trunk and chop box – or he risks being punished or the whole hall suffers. The part of that whole exercise I hated most was laying the bed. I never understood (even now) how my decision to not keep a neatly laid bed should attract sanctions for both myself and the hall. After all, it didn’t prevent me from having a good rest. And even if it did, it’s my bed – as I make it, so do I lie on it. No?
Aha! I think we were even made to do it each morning. And the day I completely revised my notes was when I returned to the dormitory after school at about 4 pm one day to find my mattress very wet because I didn’t lay my bed before attending lectures. I couldn’t sleep la. That was absolute wickedness personified by my hall master, Mr. Forson, and I could not believe it. Was it common sense or rocket science? Or was it something I was missing? Come on, ForsonMan... you could have drummed home your point with a friendlier option.
Although it changed my thoughts, it didn’t travel beyond my last day of sleeping in Accra Academy. Now, I usually sleep very late and wake up just in time to start the ritual of saying my prayers through to dressing up for work, and the neatness of my bed does not feature anywhere in my mind. I only lay the bed on weekends when a ‘very important visitor’ decides to pass through and I also decide to tidy the room.
Dear reader of ‘My Musings’, whilst tidying my room yesterday because it was dirty and not necessarily because I was going to host a visitor later in the day, something struck me whilst laying the bed. Indeed, I have watched my mum do it so many times. I have done it on countless occasions and also watched my fellow Academicians do it for three years, but not how I viewed the exercise yesterday. See, one stretches his arms wide holding two ends of the bedsheet and spreads it to cover the bed, no? One then tucks the sides of the sheet in the cranny between the bed and the mattress. But what does one usually do when he spreads the sheet and it fails to cover a wider area of the mattress? Does he not spread it again…and again…and again, until it finally does and the bed is neatly laid?
So then, why do you give up on a venture when the first attempt fails to yield the desired results? If you don’t give up when engaging in a mundane exercise such as laying your bed, then certainly don’t give up when your life’s dreams are the subject matter.
Do enjoy the grace this season brings, and God richly bless you.
More Vim…Let’s Go…