Amongst my fears is the fear of snakes, insects and reptiles. Anything that creeps and crawls irks me. They just make my skin crawl. But there are days when our fears stare us in the face, and the only option is to stare right back.
So, during my service year, the building I lived in with my friend Tawa, had a shortage of drying lines. The alternative was to go up the stairs to the building's deck, which had a layer of building blocks all round it, and spread the clothes on those blocks. However, beneath one side of the deck was a long and very thick stretch of bush, as it was rainy season and bushes grew fast; coupled with the fact that no one cared enough to employ someone to clear them. The bush was above thigh level in height.
As it happened, I had washed and spread my clothes as usual. I got back from the school I taught and went to the deck to get my clothes. On getting there, I found that half of the clothes I spread were missing. Instinctively, I looked down, only to see that they had fallen to the bush beneath. Immediately, I was thrown into confusion. My friend wasn't around and wouldn't be back for a while, I didn't have friends in the building and even if I did, I thought of how stupid it would sound to ask someone to help pick my clothes. They would look at me like "wetin do your hands and legs? Na me sabi enter bush abi".
To make things worse, the weather was changing and it seemed like it was going to rain. Do I leave my clothes in the bush for insects, reptiles and whatnot, and let it rain on the clothes I suffered to wash? Do I just walk away and forget about those clothes? Or the worst of all, do I dash into the bush to pick my clothes? What if a lizard jumps on me? (There were billions of lizards in that area) Worse of, what if a snake coils round my leg? Or even bites me?
By then, I was seriously fidgeting and sweating profusely. I stood at the entrance of the bush for about 30 mins, just looking, thinking and imagining the worst.
I was tired of standing, but much more afraid of going in. Then, I asked myself what's the worst that could happen. I recited all the protective Bible verses I knew, especially psalm 91, the part that said I shall trample on lions and serpents... then I rehearsed my race in my head.
I don't know how, it seemed like I was pushed, but I was in and out of that bush with my clothes before I could think.
The way I felt was indescribable...
Alas, I did it. I faced a fear that day and here I am telling the story!