This morning I was looking at the beautiful honey hues of light filtering, through the quiet gentle breeze, from the sun which was climbing shy of a quarter way, on its eternal daily trip across the great horizon. It was surreal. It was so beautiful.

Nolstagia. My mind flitted to another scenario, to another time zone, another continent, another country on a trip I had made across the Atlantic. Same beautiful sun rays.

But something was different there, even more beautiful. The sun rays bathed the trees, shrubs and flowers carefully planted along neat, well swept tarred streets and sweet blocks of lovely homes edged by luscious manicured green hedges. But that was another country.

Back here, the morning sun was still beautiful. Difference is, the rays fell on dirty streets, stinking gutters, broken roads and cracked sidewalks oozing putrid odours through which sharply dressed men and women walked, enveloped in clouds of animal perfumes or mental traps or whatever it was that made them oblivious of the loads of rubbish and the horrible smells.

Very funny how folks create rubbish in their homes and go out to dump the rubbish into the gutters and then on to the sidewalks. The next day and the next and the next, these neighbours called humans with brains, keep dumping wastes and rubbish on the gutters and roads.

First it is mere litter. Then hills. Then mountains. Which block the gutters and streets, corrode the coal tar and eat up the roads. Still they leave their homes with the rubbish and dump them on the awful dump sites right in front of their homes. Their children scurry like rodents to dump rubbish. Then the putrescence they foolishly nurture breaks into pestilences and plagues. They weep and they mourn. Then they play the blame game. One that never blames the self.

It is the local government rogues who wouldn't clear the rubbish, they murmur. But the local government chairman is too infested with looting bugs to give a damn. Besides, his tribesmen will not tolerate "unfair attacks" on their son. So the murmuring goes on to the favorite whipping boy: God.

With great shake of the head, they ask, with sly wisdom: If God is all knowing, why didn't he stop all the pains and the children from dying? Thereafter some firmly declare: There is no God.

Many others, not too sure, they should play roulette with their souls, run off to their "men of God" to pay tithes, to sing alleluias, clash cymbals, get holy oils and incense and to seek prayers against witchcraft.

The prayers they never pray for, the ones they never get prayed for, are the prayers of cleanliness. They do not seek its discipline, wellness and beauty. For they leave church, walk past the loads of rubbish and ugly smells on their broken streets into their plague marked homes. The next morning. They open their doors. More loads of rubbish. They pour them into the gutters and on the streets. So the desolation continues.

Elsewhere, in another continent, in another country, the people organize weekly meetings to ensure the local government does its job. They are proud of their neat, beautiful, picturesque neighborhood. They work hard to keep the butterflies fluttering, birds twittering and squirrels nibbling on nuts on their trees.

They love their profusion of flowers and colours. They love their majestic pines and the clean healthy air. So they come together and make cleanliness their culture. They teach their little ones, you know, those simple little civics lessons like, do not litter, which we here have thrown out of our schools and churches. They unite against the demons of recklessness, indiscipline and wickedness. They pray and thank God for the many gifts he bestows on them.

Well, the morning sun shines on. Both here and on the other country, on its daily duties, morning to evening, across the great horizon, dispensing beautiful, honey hues, to all. Also it seems, it does whisper: Cleanliness is next to Godliness... My people perish for lack of knowledge.

Have a beautiful day, folks.

By Ken Tadaferua
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