The swing in the backyard reminds me of the one in my grandparents’ compound. But that was a rusty red and it had two swings not one. It was a funny-looking swing set. It had four flat bases and anytime I swung high up, it would lift off the ground. It sent a thrill down my spine. I was a child then, and the superpower of a child is being fearless.
This swing is different. The rope handles and wood frame of the seat have weathered the elements for decades but It’s sturdy. Rooted into the soil beneath it, shaded by the leaves of the magnolia and willow trees. It is as though the lone seat has been waiting for me, and today I sit. It feels familiar, and yet alien. Like I know this place, and it has been waiting for me, patiently, like a parent waiting for a repentant child to return, ready to embrace. I sit, and take a deep breath, slow and steady. I release it. My heart does not skip, neither do I feel the throbbing in my ear drums, going a thousand miles a minute, I had become accustomed to. I can breathe now.
It doesn't seem so long ago I sat on the rusted red swing in my grandparents’ compound, though it's been at least 30 years. It just goes to show how time flies.
Imagine we're already halfway into 2023! I’ve had some lovely meetups discussing SARO in the past few months. In March, I spoke with Florence Marfo, Programme Area Manager, Humanities and Languages at Morley College, London, on the Morley Radio podcast series about Saro, my writing process and one of my favorite novels Behold the Dreamers by Cameroonian author Imbolo Mbue. I will share the podcast when it airs in a couple of weeks. In the meantime do listen to the most recent episodes with Deeshaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies and journalist, linguist and academic Gary Younge https://morleyradio.co.uk/
In April it was an author-to-author discourse with Yejide Kilanko moderated by the lovely moderator Joy of Narrative Landscape Press. It's always interesting to hear coments from another author. Even better is when the author is someone you'be known for a while and has been part of the writing process. I enjoyed reading Yejide's A Good Name. Many characters resonated with me, my favorite being Jovita. Read the book and you'll understand.
The Sheroes book club hosted me in May. The members, called in from Lagos Nigeria, Frankfurt, Germany and London, UK. It was a meet-up that had been worth the wait. There were two authors in attendance who made the dialogue even much more interesting. They didn't hold back on their comments and I Ioved it! I appreciate the feedback and the encouragement to tell more stories about women unapologetically.
June holds new beginnings and definitely lots of time in the sun. I hope you find time to do something fun and to breathe.