She sweeps her dusty yard, and underneath is just more dirt. But she loves it though. It looks prettier this way. Neater. It’s still dirt, but it looks taken care of. Manicured, if you will.
Her house is plastered, and regularly re-plastered, with mud and dung. Inside, she has a fire going to provide warmth for her family and prepare a simple, filling meal. The fragrance in the air is a mix of smoke, ash and dry dung, but you couldn’t tell her this wasn’t a mansion on top of a hill! She takes such pride in the home she makes; she might as well be a queen in her domain!
It is humble. It doesn’t always smell pretty. There is no indoor plumbing. But it is home. There is laughter here. Children are born and raised here, and families gather for meals here. They have fights here and they mourn losses and celebrate wins together here. She loves it here. She draws attention to her favourite things, proudly showing off her art. She’s excited about the newly thatched roof; have you seen the new shelf she has built for her pots?
I like to call myself a simple girl, but I think I’m “city-girl simple”. I don’t need much but I do like the bright lights and modern appliances in my kitchen, and I might die without wi-fi. But still I find myself drawn to this Queen in her mud castle, and the care she takes of everything and everyone around her. She sleeps soundly every night and wakes up early at the same time every single day without an alarm clock. She’s so genuinely happy. So content.
Her smoky, dimly lit home is beautiful. It’s beautiful because she says it is, and she treats it like it is. She walks like it is, and she looks at it like it is. And so it must be. She has no time to obsess over what piece of rare art you bought for your home in the suburbs because she’s painting her own piece…and her own peace. While you talk of high ceilings, she steps out into the pitch blackness of the African night and looks up into the world’s ceiling, the big black sky lit with glitters sprayed on by God Himself. Her life is beautiful because she says it is, and she lives it like it is.
Look in the mirror. What do you see? A mud hut or a mansion? Either way, you are what you believe you are. Look at you the way you wish another would. Walk like a beauty, treat yourself like a beauty, eat, drink, learn, work, rest and play like a beauty, because guess what…you already are! Celebrate you! The love and care that you put into yourself will reflect in every aspect of your being, and everyone around you will recognize the beauty within, and that might feel good, but it won’t matter as much, because the only person you ever really needed to impress was you.