Monday, September 26, 2016 9:20 am
By Bola Adewara
Three days in Ilesha… sorry… Ulesha was all I needed to get back my rhythm. I dropped the book l was reading, powered down the computers, put my ATM card in my pocket and left for Ulesha. For three days I breathed in fresh air, drank oranges plucked straight from the tree, not these Lagos oranges that have seen better days.
I walked into the inner recess of the forest, saw some unused fish ponds, a neat stream of water with fingerlings swimming around. I stood in the forest, and breathed in and out in a fit of aerobics. I saw plants growing on plants, leaves waving their hands in hallelujah Praise. I saw God in the forest of Ulesha. It’s great to behold the beauty of God. All this we have lost in Lagos. See trees of oranges, old banana trees and young suckers by their sides. Vegetables, ewedu, tomatoes, maize growing on their own.
There is a maize farm opposite the hotel we lodged in. I walked into the farm and held a bunch of fresh maize. It felt soft and cold. It just rained. I heard the maize singing, praising God for the rain that gave it the water it needs to luxuriate. The owner of the farm is an old Hausa man. He saw the great elan on my face to see fresh maize growing without fertiliser. He promised to give me some. But we did not see him again when we were leaving.
I have a sweet memory of this little farm. God has blessed us in this country. Throw a seed anywhere, it will grow. Not so in Switzerland. Not so in Britain. Not so in Canada. Yet they feed their people better than we do. What is wrong with us as a people? God, please dry this oil so we can be sensible again. We need to return to the farm, just like this Hausa man.
In his farm were the mother turkey, with nine young ones roaming about. I have something like that. So I relate neatly with that. It’s good to have a farm where you can grow and eat fresh. It’s good to visit the hinterlands once in a while to see the beauty of nature, to see God.
On our way back, getting out of Ilesha, branches of trees from both sides of the road spread out to form a canopy of shade for cars speeding under them. The ambience is cold and fresh. You can’t live in the villages and not grow well. To Ulesha I came as a tourist. I will visit this land again, if only to see God.