Sunday, June 06, 2010

Rugged chronicles

To any reader of this blog who doesn't know, NCCF Zamfara goes for Rural Rugged evangelism twice a year (Rural Rugged is said to be the 'point' of NCCF, by the way). Rural Rugged involves Corps members going to rural areas for humanitarian & evangelistic reasons (in ZM's case, the strong anti-Christian sentiment prevalent makes it basically humanitarian). None of this is really particularly important, except as a backdrop of sorts to the rest of my story.

So, I'm in Morai (pronounce Mo-ray), a village around Talata Mafara/Anka and fighting sleep desperately. I should be on my security detail patrolling, but it was dark and lonely while the Praise Night is going on; thoughts have been entering my head, forcing me to flee to Security 'HQ' where I'm literally in the light. And wouldn't you know it, it also happened to be in the zone where she serves ('she' not being the person many minds are running off to assume 'she' is).

We'll be leaving later today (it's now a few past 1:00am), and while I'm not quite sure why I came in the first place, I've learnt a little about life, and about love.

On the arrival night, I found myself thrust into Security detail (again!), which ended up with me manning a post meant for three people all on my own. I was supposed to light a fire with wood from Welfare. Fuel & matches were provided — all I needed was to get a blaze going. It was harder than I thought. I'm a born and bred city boy. It was my first wood fire, and I couldn't locate any paper. Twice I doused the wood with fuel and lit it, only to burn up just the fuel. I started looking around for some alternative fuel, and found a slipper lying around. I poured fuel on all again and lit it. This third time, I got a good blaze going in a matter of minutes.

I got thinking about it, and realized that any romantic relationship is a lot like a wood fire. The fuel is like the initial attraction — it's great, but tends to burn out quickly and leave you cold. The wood's the long-term substance or fuel for the relationship — what you'll be living on over 5, 10 years. It's relatively slow to burn, but is the meat & potatoes of your relationship in the long term. Maybe you can call this 'love', even though I personally feel the word's been bastardized. Much like the fuel, attraction gets a relationship going, but can't keep it going. It's often over too quickly. My battery power's going down, so let me summarize quickly: every relationship has both short-term and long-term elements. Utilize both correctly to keep your relationship fresh and exciting. And just like my wood fire needed me stoking it from time to time with fresh, quick-burning fuel like dry grass, as well as push the unburnt wood closer to the blaze, so I wasn't stuck with glowing embers that provided lots of warmth but little light, you need to renew the love in your relationship with short-term and long-term shows of attraction and love.

I learnt some more things, but that's for another day. Later.

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