Five-Minute Walk

Syreeta Ekaba Akinyede
2 min readOct 14, 2022
Photo by Jorge Vasconez on Unsplash

Sunny morning.

I make my way back from my children’s school. It’s a five-minute walk and that is a blessing, because when you live in Lagos, Nigeria, anything that helps you avoid Lagos traffic deserves thanksgiving to the high heavens.

As I am about to cross the road, it dawns on me that I have eyes to see both sides of it — to know how far or near a vehicle is.

I can hear the roar of car engines, just in case my mind plays tricks on me and I don’t gauge accurately how fast a car is moving.

I can smell. So I know the scents of flowers, or I can walk quickly past the refuse truck to avoid its stench.

And yes, I walk unaided, without a limp, but maybe with a slight bounce — I have refused to let go of my tomboy traits.

Both of my arms are swinging by my side, and I can speak properly, no slurs, no stutters, as I call out greetings to my neighbours.

What’s more, I was able to wake up this morning, to feel the sun on my skin. I could walk out of my room and down the stairs.

I am alive. I can breathe.

In the midst of the madness that everyday life can bring, just take a look at yourself and let gratitude soak in.

Take a deep breath, and as you exhale slowly, realise that you did so without difficulty, without the aid of a machine.

What’s that hymn again? Yes… “Count your blessings” written by Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1897.

Sometimes, we need to just stop and be thankful for the little things.