Close to the edge

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I am a firm believer in looking beyond the surface; the earth was created in a way that prompts our instincts to act without prior knowledge or experience. I watched a documentary where an Eagle made the nest uncomfortable for the Eaglets at the top of the mountain and eventually made them take a dive from the top. They had never flown before it was a scary sight just watching them fall from there; some of them let out their wings and started gliding while others died by crashing at the bottom.

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I recently went on a Walking Trip to Malham Cove with an organisation Sharing Voices Bradford I’m volunteering with ; it was an interesting journey. I never knew Penguins are faithful partners; I think humans should observe them and probably learn from them how to remain faithful to one partner, the female Octopus dies after her eggs hatch, there were other stories of other animals and their behaviours that is rated PG18 for this blog. Thanks Saba for the enlightenment.

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But this post isn’t about animals, on our way to the fountain we saw this massive tree that had been cut many years ago. It had many coins stuck into the body; I’m guessing it has to do with people making a wish but the remarkable thing about the tree was that it was still alive. I just said it is close to the water and it can never die and another person responded ‘Isn’t it like the verse in the Bible, a tree planted by the riverside shall never wither ‘. We finally got to the fountain and my daring self climbed up to the top, although it wasn’t so high but a lady taking a walk got scared and called out ‘Be careful, you are close to the edge’. I smiled, looked down, took the pictures and went down.

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imageIn a space of less than a mile I had experienced two scenarios of staying at the edge, one was the tree at the edge of the running water from the fountain and standing at the top of the fountain. Going back to the tree at the edge; it will remain alive so long as it remains close to the water, regardless of what happens around it, if the water remains its source it will never die. As humans we all have our individual sources, no matter how much we claim to be self-sufficient we can’t live without the Source. The question is what is your Source? Have you cut-out supply from the Source?

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Getting to the top of the fountain wasn’t like climbing Mount Everest but at the same time, not many of us on the trip climbed that far. If the woman had told me while I was on the way to the top that it wasn’t a good idea, I probably would have listened to her but she told me when I was already there with all the excitement. I may have gotten nervous and who knows something crazy would have happened but I just calmed my nerves down and looked down which made it less scary. We all get to the edge once in a while in life. You climb the height of success in your career, just when you are about to take another leap to the next phase the voices either in your head, through friends, associates or family start to go off giving you reasons why you are not capable or inadequate. You experience a life threatening situation, it gives you the option of either holding onto what you believe or jump off the cliff to an unknown territory, hoping you’ll find solace there only to find out at the end, it was never really worth it.

imageWe can’t predict how our lives turn out neither can we successfully plan to stay off the edge but we have control on how we react when we get to that stage.  The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble – Prov 18:14a Amp. I may never know your Source but it’s what you’ve drawn out of that Source that sustains you when you get to the edge. Guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life.

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Loads of Love

JMAD

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#Imagine Kenya, through the lens of Mitch

Mitch

My name is Mitchell McTough. I am originally from Kenya, having schooled and grown up in the lakeside city of Kisumu until the age of 13. Whilst in Kenya I studied at an English boarding school at a place called St. Andrews Turi. My mother, siblings and I eventually moved to North Yorkshire, UK, during the summer of my 13th birthday. All three of us attended a school called Ampleforth College. After completing my GCSEs and A Levels I went on to spend a year working and volunteering in the ecotourism sector in Kenya from 2007-2008. It was here that I carved my passion. After completing this, I then went on to study at Sussex University, in Biomedical Science. However this did not last long (2 months). In love and recklessly for love I moved north and began at Bradford University, in Geography and Environmental Management (From 2008-2014 with a 2 year leave). Whilst working and completing my 2nd year, I founded (along with 3 other Leeds East African Students), the Tribal Instinct fashion show and movement at Leeds University. Several months on in 2011, I launched Tribal Instinct Volunteers. From 2011-2013 I ran the programmes, however addressing the many issues on the ground was difficult without truly understanding the causes. In January 2014 I decided to formerly launch Wild Instincts www.wildinstincts.co.uk a non-profit ecotourism organisation. This, alongside entering into a Masters in African Peace and Conflict was what I believed would strengthen my understanding on how to tackle the problems facing particular nations in East Africa.

My current hobbies include sailing (summer), running/trail running/fell running, gym, and art.

Imagining a peace and Kenya as I know it:

To imagine Kenya, is to believe that I can create an image in my mind so vivid and evoking that it conjures the green pastures of the Western and Central provinces, starkly contrasted by the rugged mountains and plains of the North, the sand and palm swept scenes of the coastline, to the savannah grasslands of the South. The intertwining of diverse cultures, communities, and urbanised areas with nature. I see a myriad of harmonious settings, smiles, eyes looking to the future and hands held together across a strong and peaceful nation. Though my imagination is mangled and distorted by the fears that peer into it, the knowledge of environmental degradation, the political agendas and corruption, the societal failures, it can only be expressed in poetry:

 The ‘Eighth’ deadly sin? Mans foot print:

 I walk along this meandering path,

Marked with a footprint of wrath,

Nestled in, nobody hears, nobody sees, nobody speaks,

Like Gaia’s vein pierced the pain creeps,

To you and I alike a needle to the thumb,

To her a feeling that will never numb,

I walk on mighty and tall.

 Within this jungle, a gloomy haze mirrors a gaze,

The past is catching the present,

This I will not just call a phase,

The sky is vast, but a deformed crescent,

I walk on mighty and tall.

 I shall wonder then in the thieving breeze,

For where I stand, a distance from the shivering trees,

Like a great and wondrous tease,

They sway and wave those dotted leaves,

And like the bird resting pert and who believes…

“You merchants of deadly disease,

I too shall wheeze in this time of despair.”

Life empty now and so bare, I ask myself:

“Oh why did I even dare”?

Goodbye today, goodbye tomorrow,

Stealing from you is not to borrow,

Oh no, it really is not fair,

Gaia’s tree I leave you be,

I set you free.

 Kenya is a beautiful nation with a beautiful future, but to accept and address the fact that we are capable of both bringing peace in all areas of life and also destruction is the most important two facets of humanity. Our imagination can only stretch so far, and the responsibility to reality brings us back again to seek out this utopian image.

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We get to a point where our imagination is better expressed in Poetry. Goodbye today, goodbye tomorrow, stealing from you is not to borrow.