It is about a fifteen minutes walk from the bus stop to my house. In the morning I usually rush down the bumpy street but in the evening, I relax. Eden Road is a rough up hill, and I work hard during the day, so I take my time, one foot in front of the other, breathe deep and enjoy the walk. This practice has offered me opportunities to get to know my neighbourhood better. This lead to an interesting reflection.
On Eden Road, there is a large house. The house was built by a foreign doctor, who was married to a doctor.... they were "big time" people and the house mirrors they lavish lifestyle. Why they chose that particular area of town to build their house is beyond me, because Eden Road ends when in meets Hillview Street, and Hillview is a government housing area. Needless to say, the doctors' big pretty house and big pretty yard was sold when they moved back to their country.
The big pretty house has new residence. I don't know if they own it, or if they are just renting it, because since I have lived in Hillview, the big pretty house has had several different "big time" families live in it. But I do see something. These residence, have a big pretty truck and a small pretty car. A little boy with white skin and forever clean clothes lives in that house.
Just up Eden Road, up the hill, is another house. As big and pretty as the first house is, this house is not. It is a small board house with small windows. It was painted with green paint mixed with black oil to keep it from rotting, but it is still rotting. There is a pipe outside with a bucket underneath just like when I was a child, and the poor people used to catch water with a bucket in the yard. In fact, it seems that the people in this house are quite poor. Sometimes when I pass by in the late evening, I see candle light from the door.
In this small house, lives many boys. There are big boys and small boys and anything in-between. As I pass the house the little boys leave their yard to walk down the street with me. We talk about many things. We talk about times tables, words, bananas and sweets. There is no limit to what the little boys say. They are usually dirty, wearing clothes too big for them, and they usually have running noses. But they are polite and sweet. It makes my day to walk with them. Sometimes I give them whatever healthy snack I have. One of them always makes it a point to ask "Can I carry your bag" even though his little frame would strain under my heavy University School Bag.
This morning while I was rushing down the hill to catch the bus, I met the Little One standing by the gate at the BIG pretty house. I had seen he and his brothers playing with the little boy from the BIG pretty house a couple of times, so I figured this little boys lateness to school had something to do with it. I slowed my pace and I starting walking with my little friend. We spoke about school and how little boys should not be late, about big dogs at the BIG house, and about the little white boy. I asked my little friend if they were friends.
"Yes" he said, "but he likes to cry a lot. I think it is because he does not have not one brother. I don't like when he cries, but I share my brothers with him anyway."
That hit my heart. So who is really rich? My little friend seems to realize how much love his big family has, even if they life in a little house.