There are moments when I feel insignificant and this feeling of unimportance often results in a phase of ingratitude that, upon retrospect, is shameful.

Insignificant. Unimportant. Ungrateful. Shame.

Powerfully weighted feelings of experience. In the moment(s), these feelings are overwhelming and shape my mood. My interactions become bitter and my outlook on life, temporarily, becomes heavy and bleary. It gets really dark inside.

All of this…until I stumble upon a memory. Or an object, like a fountain pen from 1999. Or a sepia hued picture from 1998. Or simply a scent that reminds me of summer afternoons under the magnificent shade of a rubber tree. A vivid film in my mind starts playing. My brother and my cousin slyly eyeing the bee-hive nestled on the upper bark of the tree. The afternoon sun beating on our backs. All three of us devising a plan to attack the hive for no specific reason other than the sheer boredom of long summer afternoons while the adults religiously observed their siestas.

The scene changes. My brother and I, hiking through a rocky terrain on the city outskirts with my uncle. He doesn’t know that he is being loved for simply spending time with us. Hauling us across parks, feeding us burgers and buying us ice-creams. In fact, he doesn’t expect anything in return. Love, perhaps. Reverence and monetary gain? Never. Being imprinted in our minds as the good uncle? Perhaps not. He simply gave us precious moments without expectations of any kind.

Scene shifts. My older cousins. Making sure that our unreasonable late-night cravings for sweet were fulfilled as they scavenged whatever they could find to create a new rendition of sweetened, cooked flour. Never perfect, but always the best. They created moments for my brother and I out of intangible, thin air. Moments that were etched on our hearts and minds only to nudge us later and awaken us to the very elements that bred us.

Sitting around the fire with sages, oracles, humourists, carers, and above all, people who loved us.

And so I realize that we were raised in the hands of love. Not just two hands. Or four.

We were raised in multiple hands of love.

I was raised in the hands of love.

How dare I despair.