I love books, I love and appreciate writers and I fully understand the effort that goes into writing books, but as paradoxes go, it is not my usual hobby to sit down and read books. Recently I have been making conscious effort to read books and I must say I am enjoying the process. I hope and pray I am able to keep this up. Anyway, this is not a piece about why you should read books. Maybe when I am better at that, I would be able to help pull out the spec in your eyes; because by then, I won’t feel guilty about the log in mine.
I was reading the book ‘Talent is not enough’ by John C Maxwell (good book). In one of the chapters, he mentioned a number of things about mountain climbing. This brought me memories of my last days in my Alma Mata Crimea State Medical University. My friends and I had planned a couple of things we wanted to do before leaving Crimea; going to the red cave was one of them.
In Crimea, there are many sites you would want to visit; I don’t want to get started on mentioning now, before I start feeling more nostalgic than I already am. I remember when marking the places we wanted to go to in Crimea, we really wanted to visit a water fall – the Uchan-su. It is said to be one of the tallest waterfalls in Europe. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that right?
Anyway, I decided to have a picnic at the red cave with a couple of friends. When we got there, the place was so beautiful and we were so excited. The only bad part was this: The red cave was up a hill or shall I say mountain and we had to walk all the way. We all started the walk up the mountain without a guide. I can’t remember why we didn’t go with a guide; probability is high that we were just being cheap. Who needs a guide when there is a path to follow?
We kept walking up the narrow path that led to the red cave. I wanted to know what it was about the cave that everyone was always talking about. There was no stopping me at this point. In fact, as the chief of the planning committee I encouraged people to move it and move it, until it got to a point that I myself was tired of moving it. It just seemed like the more we climbed up its steep stairs, the farther it became.
We got to a plateau area that had benches; ladies and gentlemen, that was the end of my journey to the red cave.
“I will catch up with you guys soon, just keep going” I told my friends. I remember Femi saying “Ayb, I am sure we are almost there” but I did not listen to him (He cannot comman kill me for my mother).
Well, I sat on the bench with two others, before I knew it, I got comfortable. It was breezy there and I soon began to appreciate the serenity around the area. The next moment, my friends were coming down and of course, just as you expected, they didn’t stop talking about how beautiful the lake was until we got back to school. One of them wouldn’t shut up about how crystal clear the water was and blah blah blah…
“Ayb, you should have come o”
“Don’t I know that? Do you have to put it in my face? arghhh!”
I didn’t make it up the next few steps to see the red cave and I actively blame the people who put the benches there for this. Who puts benches just before the destination? I had been walking all the way for more than an hour, up a hill, no benches; few minutes to the breakthrough, benches came. It would have been another story if I had ignored the benches like my other friends did or even if I had sat for just a short while. I sat all the while appreciating flowing water that I had seen a lot of times; butterflies that probably do not add value to my life. I missed the bigger picture and settled for less, just because it offered me a little comfort. This clearly explains why not everyone can be great. Why settle for beautiful when you can be gorgeous?
The worst aspect of this was that, I was too proud to admit that I shouldn’t have sat. When they came down talking about how beautiful the place is, I should have tried to catch a glimpse of the place. I should have told them I would catch them on the way down and pursued the reason I was there anyway. Now that I did not see it with my korokoro eyes, I can only believe the myths and legends behind the cave.
I didn’t and I may never have the opportunity to go the Crimea to see the red cave anymore. Even if there was no cave, I wouldn’t know.
In life, beware of those benches and the things that offer you less than you deserve. Beware of quitting just because it seems you have done a large work and you are yet to see the result. Beware of pride, it only makes you lose. Make sure you see the ‘Red Cave’; no matter how farther it seems to you; do not give up until you reach your destination.
That reminds me, I didn’t give up on the journey to the water fall. I saw it with my eyes in my socket and my advice is this “Do not go there when there is no rain; it looked to us as though someone stood at the peak and was pouring water from a bucket. My precious, hard earned 100grivs was gone in a jiffy. That is a classic example of a wasted effort.
I am Back!!!