I’ve been thinking a whole lot about love this month for obvious reasons, but also because I’m hosting an event tomorrow where ‘rainbow’ Nigerians can come together to talk about what love means to us. We don’t have many safe spaces here, so gatherings like this are always really energising and affirming. As a fun exercise, we’ll be making a list of things we love, and here I’m giving you a sneak peek at mine.
I love leap years. As my work includes championing people or behaviour that some societies deem ‘unnatural’, I think of 29 February as a powerful reminder that nature is the boss of society, and not the other way round. Last year or next, today, 28 February, would be the last day of the month. But this year, February still has one tomorrow to go. Whoop!
I love tomorrows. Like little orphan Annie, I have complete faith in the power of a fresh start, a bright dawn, the expansive promise of a whole new day. Anything is possible, if you can just hold on until tomorrow. It’s true that the future doesn’t quite exist, since we can only ever experience the present moment, but the hope of a better next moment keeps me going on difficult days.
I love my daughter. I’m not at all a typical mom by Nigerian standards. Sometimes I feel like my single-minded refusal to conform probably complicates her life a bit. Luckily for me, she’s very accommodating of my many quirks, and she writes me little notes every other day to remind me that she loves me, I’m not damaging her too terribly, and she’s the one who’s really in charge.
I love non-wimpy hugs. I used to think of myself as someone who highly values touch in and of itself, but I’ve recently realised that I only really enjoy specific kinds of touch. I now know hugs are my favourite kind of touch, and the conversation about firm hugs that ensued in the contributions section of my article about love as a verb made my day. Members Bavo and Elizabeth reminded us that the hugs we really commit to are the best.
I love writing; both mine and other people’s. I believe in magic because I’ve seen the way literature can conjure whole worlds out of nothing and make them real. I’ve made friends with characters in books. I know the topography of worlds I’ve never seen, real and imagined. I have learned to respect realities I will never experience, all thanks to the power of the written word.
I love the human spirit. There is something endlessly inspiring about our capacity for creation, our resilience, our general predisposition towards caring for one another, and even our rather futile tendency to try to control forces that we have no power over. We have so much faith in ourselves and one another. Survival and progress are in our DNA, and I love that about us.
I thoroughly loved writing to you about love, week in and week out, in this extra-special month of February. As I say goodbye for the last time in the 2nd month of the new decade, I’d like to know: what do you love?
Till next time,