Despite all these years of living abroad, the memories of growing up as a young lad on an Island in South Pacific still gives me goose bumps when I carry the thoughts of 'darkness' in my mind. I harbored the thoughts of 'darkness' even at this stage of life, not that I am frighten of it, but what transpired during the solitude of the night. How it denied and restricted ones activities and yet, for some, it shad light on ones actions and movements.
As a child I often wondered how our people moved on the streets when the sun had subdued its fire. Darkness for me was like a fiend upon my back. Whenever I had overindulged in some activities and the sun had just dipped into the far horizon, the fear of getting home begins to creep slowly into my mind. Little past six in the evening, darkness had already shrouded the small town under her blanket. The excitement ceases its moments and ends the honest day's jollity at dusk, and only then, I was to be seen not heard. I wonder if we had dreams in those days or did our parents had them for us, or were it both. It was not too often that we had guests at our homes and enjoyed their companies. The two theatres in the town provided the mere entertainment other then the sports week during the month of March when the Trade Winds dropped to a whisper. It was only then the town became live for the entire week and every family in town had at least one guest to amuse. There were no televisions in those days.
While growing as a young lad I never did come to know who organized the Hibiscus festival or who greeted the guest teams when they came to play soccer, rugby, or cricket from overseas. I did know they came and entertained our local teams who were never even near match to them. What amazed me most was the guest teams took so gently upon our local players like high- hearted gentlemen with un-drawn swords, especially in the game of cricket where they manipulated the entire game.
I never met the town crier or the clerk or the Mayor or knew the locale of birth and death register or who the whole night working cat was for that matter. No one bothered to tell me who these people were and who acted behind the scene, maybe I never bothered to find out, maybe I was one in every ten who balanced his brains at half mast.
The boys after school stayed in shops to relieve the parents for a cup of tea while I sought contentment in the play grounds like a rotten sod and mostly received the cold shoulder from those responsible. I had no one to relieve for a cup of tea at three in the afternoon, I was only flourishing into the next half of the twentieth century at the tender age of ten.
The student who boarded next door to us came from the deepest of the environs. He told me that his house was built along the wet embankment where the hot water oozed from the pores. He mentioned that the mango and coconut trees were heaven bound and the drug free vegetables thrived in the agricultural milieu. He talked about the wild horses that hardly exhausted themselves in the wilderness and that the drinking water seeped from the rocks to the nature's ponds where they bathed their naked bodies. The moon beamed its radiant energy every night when he sat outside to hear the river groaning in her eternal sorrow. He said he could hear the song of the river flow. He also revealed that moths and flies figures silhouetted against the bright full moon. Furthermore, he could hear the leaping crickets rubbing wings in the dark. Was there really such a paradise where the horses thundered by or was he sharing his dreams.