I was about 4 years old in the 80’s when this memorable event occurred. As a kid, my hobby or perhaps all I did was reading, going to school, eating, and sleeping; 'had very less time for cartoon network of any sort or other kid entertainment properties. So my life basically centered about learning. Then, there was the frequent public use of the famous quote "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy".
At a much younger age, I was fortunate to have enjoyed the benefits of having a very great family, and I attended good school. Yet, something was visibly missing that I needed - some fun - association with other people after school. Practically my fun was riding my bike and playing with ‘kellor’, my darling Eurasian dog. Despite my likeness for Kellor, reading and studying never gave us more time to hang out together. Funny enough, I lived about a distance of 10 meters to my next neighbour. Perhaps, my very close neigbours were the towering trees and beautiful flowers that I couldn’t reach to but I could stare at and admire nature.
Until one day I was riding my bicycle around the compound, and suddenly the head tube of the bicycle - that connects the crossbar, handle arms, down tube, and holds the fork that connects to the wheels – got loosened. Not displaced, it was still in place almost as if nothing had happened but obvious to the rider. I thought it was still manageable. Dad came from work, I told him about what had happened and he said he would get me a new bicycle or just get that fixed if it was still possible when examined by a bicycle specialist. I was happy of course, but dad took my bicycle and kept it away from me warning me not to use it until he figured it out for previous either options. Let me say, I was hopeful and dad never did disappoint; probably allergic to disappointment but never really minded if others did, possibly he did.
I waited patiently, graceful and with faith. I really wanted the bicycle. Kellor must have been happy; I had more time for him out of my timeless study. If someone waits few seconds to think about it, how many seconds make a minute, minutes to an hour; how many hours make a week, how many weeks make a year? Charles Darwin once said “You make your habits and your habits make you.” I was too young to understand that, that was if I read about Darwin at that age but I did. What really mattered to me was as I could seemingly remember, as days passed, I started to feel something was not in place. I had to go look for my bike. Dad and mom were frequenly on emergencies, calls, surgeries, and all of the cause to save lives, so that my close friends were these little things I had got used to. I was not so close either to the house assistants, I was stuck in the house enjoying the study, enjoying Kellor’s company, and whenever I needed to go around the compound and admire Mother Nature or just for a little exercise, my bicycle was always a favourite. I just rolled out on it and manoeuvred it around bends, and liking the reels, it was fun.
With the thought that the bike was still manageable, I went for it where it was kept. I did not mean to be disobedient; I thought dad was too much a perfectionist. At least, I was able to ride on the bike even after the dislocation of the bicycle joint until dad came. I attempted it, rode around the compound again. I felt complete. But I had to return the bicycle before dad returned, because I wasn’t sure what he would say. Yet, I respected his absence as much as his presence but by chance I also believe in questioning things, experimenting, and finding out things for yourself.
After few other times, the unusual happened. Sometime as I was riding the bicycle, I slipped forward and there it happened - the dislocated joint pinned the lower part of my stomach? Just slightly above what could have turned a terrible memory. Certainly, the worse was avoided and the bad transpired. It was a deep cut that I screamed my life out. Dad was away so was mom, both medical practitioners. The gateman and one of the helpers rushed to my side. It was so memorable the care I saw in these great people. There were no neighbours to drive me to the hospital that was about 10 minutes drive away, but one of these Samaritans called the ambulance that came on time. I arrived at the General Hospital where dad worked. Almost everyone, on hearing I was admitted were curious and anxious to know what had happened. One of the fine doctors there gave me suture in a private ward; dad came in sooner unhappy with me neither the event. He must have felt I disobeyed him which by now I realised I did. He cared for me, and shouted at me. I never saw dad angry at me before. It was my first and only suture until date. I recovered quickly, and the event remained a fond memory.
Sometime after, I and dad were having a father-son talk, and I apologised for what had happened years before – the incident – and I told him about Darwin’s habit theory. Dad said I should have known better that the same Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”. My jaws dropped!
On one morning prayer meeting we had, I remember mom quoted from Ecclesiastes 9 verse 11, “I have seen something under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happens to them all”. New International Version (NIV)
I had many things to remember and learn from a single incident at my early age. Memory, most times is a guide to the present, and eventually might be valuable in the future, even only if it was the thought of it worth remembering.