Satan lives in the ground. That’s what we were made to believe when we were little. He comes out of the ground only when he wants to cause men to fall and, to do that, he usually takes the form of a voluptuous, ravishing beauty. So, we also believed that Satan was beautiful. Because he lived in the ground, he had almost nothing to eat; he had no candies, chocolates, biscuits or groundnuts like us. He did like them though, and would do anything just to have a taste of them. However, the only way he could get our sweets was if they fell out of our hands onto the ground.
When we were little, if sweets, or any food item for that matter, fell on the ground, we would cry out in Yoruba, “Satan has eaten it! Don’t eat it anymore!”, and to prevent anyone else from picking it up and eating it, we would stamp on it. I learnt that the notion of Satan eating dropped food came about like many of our other superstitions: as a preventive measure. Èsù, as Satan is called in Yoruba, is believed to be the cause of all evil, and diseases. When children picked up stuff to eat, they often fell ill, and Èsù was believed to be the cause. To prevent more diseases, children were told not to eat anything that dropped, because “Èsù” had eaten it. Who wanted to eat something the fierce, evil, black-faced Èsù had eaten?
Well, we have grown up, and have outgrown many of these superstitions. We have stopped believing that Satan lives in the ground, or that he eats our dropped food. We only mention it when we see children trying to eat food from the ground- and laugh as we realise that we too are now propagators of superstitions. Unlike before, when we would cry when a treasured piece of food fell on the floor, we now pick up the dropped food, dust it off on our shirts- or at best, rinse it with water- and pop it into our mouths! Satan can go to hell for all we care! Food is only irredeemable if it falls into the gutter or some particularly dirty place.
I was thinking some days back about my blog, and how I haven’t posted anything in over two months. While exams did swallow a huge portion of the last two months of 2016, I admit that I was lazy too; and then I went off social media for a while. It annoyed me, how my blog had become one of the million other abandoned blogs online. I did want to post, I had plenty of ideas in my head, but I just couldn’t find the strength to pick up my pen- or phone- to write. I complained about it to some friends, but they did not seem to understand. At some point, I even felt like it was too late to come back to my blog.
It struck me some days ago how the whole idea of Èsù and dropped food can be like missed opportunities. When food dropped, you just had to forget about it, no matter how sweet it was. I thought about my blog, and how it seems to have fallen from my hands onto the ground. I asked myself, “Has Èsù eaten my blog?” and then I dismissed the thought and told the devil to get behind me! I picked up my blog, wiped it on my shirt, blew off the dust, and even rinsed it with water. I told God about it, told Him to give me the grace and strength I need to sustain it. To hell with Èsù!
Well, I came back online some days ago, and I had like a million messages from everywhere! I could not reply them all, they were just so overwhelming. I went to check out the blogs I follow, and I was impressed, and inspired by all the progress that had taken place there. I told myself, “Dunni, don’t despair. There’s still hope.” I am back here, and though I’m not too happy that my first post is coming on the 21st day of the year, I’m glad that I’m at least back here! I can’t promise that I’ll be consistently consistent, but I’ll try to better than before, by God’s grace.
Just in case you’re reading this, and you also have something you’ve lost hope about, I’m reaching out to you. You may have the feeling that whatever it is has dropped from your hands to the floor and irredeemable. Don’t despair, Satan has not eaten it. Tell God about it. Just pick it up, dust it off, maybe even rinse it off, and tell the devil to get behind you!
Happy new year, and welcome back to Enioladunni.