The sweet singing of the birds captures my attention as my eyes search for the origin of the singing. In a distance l see two birds flapping their wings in chorus. Such beauty.

“This is what makes me love being home”, l think to myself as a drive my focus back to the chore at hand. I am separating groundnuts seeds in a wide plate, ready for the planting season.

The sky closes its nakedness to the drumbeat of the thunder as the sun waves off into the distance. The warm air touches my tender, fair skin under the mango tree where I am sitting. Everyone is well prepared for the planting. Each gardening field is yet to embrace a new cloth of foliage. Crops are waiting in silence for the impending downpours from the heavens.

Mama is in the kitchen preparing lunch for the four of us. I love being home becayse everyone is family. Blood relative or just friends – they are all family and the unity among us has borne fruits of equality. We share food, for everyone gets to contribute their harvest to the village food store after each harvesting season.

School takes up most of my day as l am at a boarding school in my final years of secondary school. Being the eldest child it is my responsibility to work hard to set a good example to my siblings, whom l miss so much when l am away. l guess home is just part of me.

Now that I am home on a holiday and it is also the planting season, I am in luck for l love working in the garden with mama. That is where she tells me the tales of our forefathers of how they used to work in the field with passion and unity. Women were the core of it all for they would present their home cooked meals to their husbands and children in a group with joy and respect.

She is the reason why l usually decline to go and live in town with my uncle during holidays. l always admire mama’s strength since papa died from an illnesses – no one knew what it was and that caused my uncles from my father’s side to say she was responsible for his death. Papa used to pay homage and denied to associate himself with the other men who tirelessly played bawo. Papa loved mama and showered her with so much love that everyone admired them. Every evening they would share his family legacy stories with us.

Though papa is gone, home is still full of love, for mama makes sure we all have our needs. Her humble business of baking and selling mandasi and being a member of the community club that helps in borrowing and saving money is really helpful. I am able to go to a good boarding school far from home.

The feeling of being home comes with responsibilities that rest within me, for mother is not getting any younger, so she needs a helping hand with things. I dream of finishing school to be with her and be her helper and she says she will be happy to have her daughter graduate not just from secondary school, but also from university. I guess l still have a long way to go, but I will be at home with mother and my siblings in the end.