Poverty holds more secrets than you think

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Lumepa Hald

Waking up at dawn to the sound of roosters calling each other, the small birds chirping from below the window, and the rustle of leaves in the breeze is perhaps like the waking up of a “nemo” fish in the coral reef. 

I love the sound of nature, as it not only soothes me, but it takes me away to a dreamy place.

But the dream is much like our country, small, simple and peaceful.

Simpletons like us should have heaps to give as a meditative lot or love gurus. We are in fact too surrounded by the beauty of nature to be anything but.

We do not even have to climb a mountain to find God and the angels we pray for each Sunday.

The gods and goddesses in our souls will flourish from the sight of our gardens, the sandy beach, the blue open sky and oh my, sit down, the moonlight that makes the sea glisten like a road towards heaven glows.

Far from us lie the troubled war-ridden countries, the people who are grabbling like animals any food from those wealthier countries whose guilt may perhaps be too late for a broken world.

Some child, a girl even, is standing under a dark cloudy sky hoping to return to the arms of her loving mother. And the boys are crushed in spirit because their fathers are beaten to his humiliating death by the predators they face each day.

Do you close your eyes sometimes and listen to the sound of desperation sometimes? I hear it as children’s feet running with fear and I see it as the scream in their eyes.

Yet, we wake up to the scent of unplanted taro and unfurnished open fales with uninspired mango trees, at the sight of the plastic bottles lying around.

We take a pluck at any hibiscus we pass by and we wear it with an island sway of comfort that even the kings and their crowns in the western world would bow to, for we each own the space we walk upon. 

The luxury of simpletons is unused when you say to me that we have a ton of problems to stop us from making a better life.

The money we make is nothing in comparison to those chained countries we wish for. We have enough though we do not share it well with each other. Seems the ignorant are always placed on the wrong end of the dollar. 

The thing to do is to remember that well being is not the same as wealthy. The poverty of our country is in the children’s eyes on the streets, the prisons that keep losing the prisoners and the uprise of immorality. Does the church stand in the middle of the village for nothing but a handful of coins? 

Is the matai circle and their sennit weaving becoming a woman’s gossip competitor? Are the warriors we raised as fire dancers and carvers becoming emasculated? The backbone of a nation counts upon the strength of these simple ways we once masterfully lived with. 

Why do we satisfy ourselves in pretending to be something that we are not? If there is a depression in our country and it is seen in the form of suicide, the youth especially, then climate change has come only as a physical form of displacing us. The displacement was done for us years ago, no?

The soul knows most what we lack in the world of humanity. 

So when you are out to pray and meditate again, think of the meaning of poverty. Poverty is any kind of hunger, longing, a missing out on epiphany.

Poverty is disharmony, whether you are an entire body or a piece of something broken. A poet thinking of the human soul once wrote that you are not a drop in the ocean, but you are the ocean in a drop.  

That to say, that our beautiful islands are here to nurture us so that we can believe that no kind of poverty can chain us like birds to the sky we are under. We are meant to reach out and we are more.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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