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Today is the first day of the good old days

Today is the first day of the good old days
Video Caption: 1 Diplo’s 2019 VMAs, Themed Suit

“Yesterday is gone, it's no more. Tomorrow will come, it's not yet. All you have is now. Concentrate on now and give it your all” Bwak

Do you gaze at a distant past and miss the ‘good old days.’?

It’s possible though, that during that period when you socialized, worked, breathed, drank and ate in those days, you didn’t fully appreciate them. Back then, they were just ordinary days, period. You appreciate them now because they are gone forever.

There is something about anything that you can’t have that makes it so alluring; so desirable. Because there doesn’t exist a time machine that can ferry us back to the past, we often jump into our memories and fly back to a past that looks rosier than it was when we still lived in it.  

But did you know that those good old days are still right there with you? It’s just that you have walked away from them. Let me explain by telling you about some of my good old days.

In the mid-2010s, Lamu Island became my first home.  Every morning, my eyes flung open to the Indian Ocean’s serene sight. I would walk from my house to the beach, which was just a stone throw away. I would feel the 6AM ocean breeze slap my face and grin like a little boy who had stumbled into a toy shop. Then a speed boat would whizz by, on its way to Mokoe Jetty at the mainland. I would watch the trail of foam left behind by the boat and remind myself to take that boat ride just for the fun of it.

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Lamu Island's Old Town

You are living in the good old days

Children’s voices would waft to me from behind, causing me to swivel and see school children strolling to school, puffed up school bags dangling on their shoulders. The girls would be donning white hijabs, looking resplendent in the morning glow.

Whoooooaaaaaa! A wave would smash onto the shore with such force that some water would spray onto my ankles.

“Mambo?” I would greet the newly arrived ocean waters then walk away towards my right. Destination - Mamake Fatma breakfast kibanda (shed). I could almost take a bullet for her mahamri. I swear she makes spectacularly delicious mahamri. They are uniquely hot, have just the right amount of yeast and are flavored with iliki (cardamom) my favorite spice. In addition to all these, they were always steaming hot whenever I bought them.

But one of the most endearing things about her was the way she greeted me.

Asalaam aleykum mwanangu. Kijana wangu.” Asalaam aleykum my child. My young man.”

Now, at that time, I was weighing a good 97kilograms. My head was balding. 

Yet Mamake Fatma was calling me kijana – young man. She validated my rapidly disappearing youthfulness.

Oh, those good old days of Lamu.

At the time when they were unfolding, when they were in the present, I was generally happy about them even though I did not regard them as spectacular as I do now.

Think about your own good old days. Think about them in some detail. Now come back to the present.

Think about the people in your inner circle. Those whose call or sight warms your heart. Think about the seemingly ordinary every day stuff. Your 6.30AM shower; your 8PM dinner; brushing your teeth next to your loved one; sitting next to your loved one as you ride, drive or walk together to work; drinking tea and sambusa together with colleagues at the office; just sitting at home watching your favorite series; having conversations with your parents; walking to the local shop to buy some eggs and bread. All these ordinary things will appear extraordinary in future. They will become part of ‘good old days’ because they will be in a distant past that you can never be a part of again.

Don’t take the present for granted. It is special. Very special. Even if it’s full of problems and challenges, don’t allow it to slip through your fingers. Ultimately, what is within you makes life special; not what is without you. People – especially those in your inner circle – make life special; not things.

Today is the first day of your current good old days. Live it fully.

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Lamu Island Old Town is Kenya's Oldest Inhabited Town