My Hospital Window: Message from the Morning Man
by Kojo Yankson
18th December 2015
Ei! It’s coming o! Christmas 2015! And the race is on to find the perfect gift for those you love. And you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? Give them a copy of Messages from the Morning Man. As a preview, here’s one of the 69 messages from the book. It’s called My Hospital Window.
I spent a large chunk of 2007 in bed. First, I was in a coma for a good while, but after I woke up, I had to stay a few more months getting treated for kidney failure. It wasn’t easy being stuck in a bed for such a long time, but I had a nice, private room with a window overlooking the park, so it wasn’t entirely terrible. I spent days on end, lying on my side looking out of my window, observing the wildlife in the park.
As summer turned into autumn, a bird started to make her nest in the low branches of the tree outside my window. She would fly off somewhere and return with twigs and fluff and other materials to build her new home. Judging from how fast she worked, it shouldn’t have taken her more than a couple of days to finish the project, but every morning, she would come back to find that her nest had been wrecked during the night – either by squirrels or foxes or the wind, or some other agent of destruction.
Unperturbed, the little bird would pick a higher branch and start again, flying off and returning with bits of her new home in her mouth, over and over again, rebuilding the nest all day long, not worrying for a moment about what might happen to all her hard work overnight. Every day, I watched her do this, picking a higher branch and starting again, working at the same rate, flying back and forth, never giving up, until one Monday morning, a few weeks into Autumn, I watched with pride as the little trooper finally attached her final bit of fluff to her lovely new home near the top of the tree, and settled comfortably in it to lay her eggs.
Lying there in that hospital bed that morning, I started to think about my own life. Before I fell ill, I was on probation in a new job. I was not entitled to sick pay, and my continued absence of almost four months had resulted in the termination of my contract. We could no longer afford our rent, and we would soon have to move into a smaller place, but I couldn’t afford the deposit. My savings were depleted and it seemed as if everything I had ever worked for had been destroyed overnight. Every time I thought of the future, I was gripped with fear.
That morning, as I watched this little bird finally settle into her completed home after days of toil, I suddenly felt a surge of determination. it wasn’t a turbo-charged aggressive feeling – more like a calm, warm sense of certainty spreading through my chest. I suddenly felt that everything would be alright, no matter what. For the first time since I was ten years old, I started to cry as I watched the little bird chirp happily, enjoying her victory over the destructive forces in her life. She clearly had no idea that she had changed my life forever.
The months that followed were not easy. I was unemployed for the longest time, as I battled to regain my health. My relationship ended, I lost my home, my car, my friends, and almost everything I valued in life, but none of those losses defeated me. Exactly two years from the day I saw that bird occupy her nest, I had a new job that paid almost three times my old one, AND came with a brand new car, I had a new home in one of the most affluent suburbs of Nottingham, and Fiifi was on the way. I had made it. I had built my nest!
My friends, the reason why I love Mornings is that they give us a chance to start afresh. Morning gives you another opportunity to start building your nest again. It doesn’t matter what happens overnight, because as long as Morning comes, you have another chance to try again.
Sometimes, it seems like it doesn’t matter how hard you work, there’s always something to set you back. You work hard to save money, and then some unforeseen emergency comes along and takes away every last penny you’ve saved. You start building your retirement home, and halfway to completion, some land dispute comes from nowhere, and before you know it, all your hard work goes down the drain. You pray years for a baby, and you finally become pregnant. After months of complications and constant hospital visits, you go through the excruciating pain of childbirth only for your precious baby to die two days later.
My people, we are in a constant battle against destructive forces – human and otherwise. The one who doesn’t give up is the one who wins. Just like the little bird outside my window, there are only two things you must do to guarantee your victory: first, you must start, and second, you must never stop. No matter what. Every time the sun rises, start again. You will get there.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and Joy comes in the morning – bringing with it, the Super Morning Show.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!
(Messages from the Morning Man is available in all EPP and Challenge Book Stores, as well as the front desks of Joy and Luv FM. To buy in bulk as corporate gifts and hamper fillers, please call +233 242608824)