Hope lives in the lover’s heart

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Lumepa Apelu

Between the islands of Apolima and Manono, there is romance, where the first looks like a hugging woman and the second looks like a man lying on his back looking up to the sky. 

At ease between each other, the tides that carry one’s stories to the other have been there for centuries. Most of us, can only look at these islands, and wonder, what therein, is their mystery. When I asked my daughter for her thoughts, she said as any free mind would and in so many words, “it is love”. 

When you sit and stare at the nature of trees for a while, you sense their wisdom too. The tree knows that more than human, she is merely a tree, and we, the human world, are just what we ought to be, people of the planet. Sadly, we treat this life like we are strangers to it too.

Flowers all over the world have seen our history too. You can tell in the words of eternal poets that men, not words, built Rome, earned peace and ever advancing civilations. Yes words, like music, if used to touch the heart, fathoms the sky and unfolds the depths of the ocean too. But the most powerful words in human history, have almost always, come from earnest men. 

Have you heard of Shakespeare’s mockery of greed, and do you read Rainer Rilke’s poetry on solitude? Have you wept in the memory of Mandela’s agony for justice? Need I remind of the Lord’s prayer, to your curfewed evenings of “lotu” ridden prosperity? These men, elegantly define hardship with words. 

But words like the sea are never empty, if you are generous. Words touch the human soul with understanding, when they are interpreted with eyes of compassion. 

Yes words have been made weapons of war too. Because of words, the man enslaves himself, in the little rooms of his own mind. A man is at war with his own thoughts, because words are restless when made to run wild in the anxiety of our lives. 

Thinking of the recent problems around our world, our rising seas, our many wars, the murder of children, mothers and fathers, the annhiliation of religious sects for the words spoken against another, do you see the logic of using worthy words in a fearful existence, when Marie Curie, the mathematician discovered and said in her feminine wisdom, “ Now is the time to really understand so that we can fear less.” 

Words blinds one man, and kills another. If we both knew that words were pebbles of pain, would you not ever want a bridge built firmly between us? 

And when it is built, would you honor the women and men who walked many miles to touch the hand of freedom there? It was not words that drove them, I do not think. It was a sense of pride in everything. 

Wthout words however, look at the pain of nature? Does the mountain cry out in pain when we squander her trees? Do the fishes in the sea go on strike when we have used them up? Does the helpless turtle we abuse strangle us in our sleep? 

These things unfold their pain in harsher ways.  Through their pain, we can feel the fate of our arrogance in the shaking feet of our pride and our untamed greed, as we live in these uncertain days. 

So when we look at each other to point out who is right and wrong about who we really are as a people, a culture, a human race, we must be turning our heroes in their untended graves. For we now romanticize what we should have always revered. We miss the cleansing of our soils by picking on the man who is working right and talking about our freedom like it is something we suffered alone. We are not the only brave story there is to own. 

We are so quick to point out the pride of our identity and mar it with disunity, from each other, from the sky, from the sea, from other races, from everything, the very thing our heroes fought against. 

But if we are settling for less and still wish to brave the glory of the past by defining it with words, I would like to hold your hand and dance with you in the rain. These days, it is not where you come from that lasts, but what you do with it, that makes the world a better place. Words may please or plunder but it is action that makes a difference, no? 

So if you ponder the romance of Apolima and Manono, hold their memory as a free child would, and realize, that inside the heart of every lover, lives the bright eyed life of hope. For every child who looks up to you knows, that while we are leading them with lanterns in this trying life, it is hope we need the most. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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