Call it an injury, a wound, or a cut. Call it carelessness, uninhibited joy or pure childish excitement. Call it daring or whatever you like. The moment my mother took one long look at the ‘ink’ (GV) stain right beside my left eye, she said to me ‘you wanted it; you got it. Enjoy your FACE BADGE’.
We had just returned from the salon, each one wearing a new look with an exotic hairstyle. The trip to the village was planned for next day, a trip that happened only biannually. My excitement mounted as I looked forward to the holiday with my grandmother and uncles and aunties and cousins. Naturally, I gave vent to it in the way I knew best. Spinning.
I liked to go round and round in circles. Literally. Some days, we would compete to see who could go the fastest and for the longest amount of time before losing her balance. By then, you needed no proof to affirm that the earth is circular as your confused gaze return time and again to the same object while you hold tight to some support to keep from hitting the floor.
That day, I spinned, spanned and spunned. Slowly at first and then gathering momentum from my excitement, I went faster and faster until I partially succumbed to the force of gravity. Next thing I knew, our vestibule was spinning, upside down! My head was firmly planted on the floor while my feet remained flagging down some unseen taxi in the air. The end? A big scratch that narrowly missed my eye followed by a ‘face badge’. The badge is now replaced by an old scar that has defiled all biological processes to completely fade out.
What did you expect? Next day, I travelled to the village like that and I got a drum full of regrets and sorrows at my pain. Family is family, thank God. Well, a few taunts also came from some rascals – my cousins. Face colour or not, it didn’t diminish the joyful colours of Christmas, of the God-child born to us, of the time spent together with family like the Child did; or the time spent out visiting in like fashion as the Magi. With my face badge, I attended the different Masses, weddings, masquerade outings (they call it ‘okorosha’ in my place) and Launches. With it I celebrated the feast on January 1st of Mary, mother of God, ushering in the new year.
Now as I look back, I dare say that my face badge was also a tiny opportunity to participate in the cold and poverty suffered by Christ born for us, born to save us through his cross and resurrection.
Merry Christmas and have a peaceful 2015!
Inspired by the daily prompt.