A usual native house in my country is made from a mixture of wood as flooring and walls while its roof is overlaid thatched leaves from Palm trees native to Southern Asia and Australia. Most of our houses sits on stilts as a way of avoiding water due to high tide, a normal weather pattern occurring with the rising of sea level due to gravitational forces.
Ours, as far as I could reminisce including the furnitures inside were all made from wood. Except for the thatched overlay of palms as our roof, our floors were rows of thick slabs of wood gathered fresh from forest around us. Scrubbing them clean with soap and water was how my mother maintained them a task I volunteered doing much later with my own tiny hands.
We have huge open windows, filled with Bougainville flowers, allowing free flow of air in and out of the house such that no air conditioning is needed. Neither have we a need for heater even for showers, the warm clean water from our well was sufficiently providing us freshness.
Every morning I wake up from the pungent smell of garlic stir fried rice from the wooden fired stove where my mother cooks breakfast and we would all be seated in this dining table made from boards and boards of wood paired by two long benches on each side. Some of my younger brother or sister sits right on top of the table.
Our living room is filled with the basic wooden furniture, two chairs and one big long couch with two side tables. On the corner is a huge cabinet covered with glass doors housing my mothers’ fragile dishes and glasses which she takes out on special occasion especially Christmas.
All these things I remember when I was allowed to go and play outside with minimum monitoring. One day my mother interrupted me from my usual playtime, I could hear her voice summoning me in emergency. As soon as I landed on the doorsteps I was greeted with commotion and excitement, the house was shaking and everybody was getting dressed. I couldn’t see an inch of the floor I scrubbed that morning.
I see my father and brother in their best Sunday dress perfectly seated in our wooden couches while my mother wearing her swirling skirt was busy getting my younger brother and sisters dressed. With face towel in her hand she makes sure no traces of snot left on their cheeks. I was instructed to put on my Sunday dress as well and line up for combing and putting the white ribbons on my hair.
Cheerfulness and jubilation was all I sensed around me. This business of getting white ribbons on my hair with my Sunday dress on is a sign of a special occasion, a trip out of town or a birthday party, however, I also get the impression that I was wrong. Whatever I am hearing doesn’t mean a thing and I get the impression that what I’m expecting isn’t happening. Whatever it is, all I wanted to know is where are we all going after this event.
Not long after a fellow came by the house and my father let him in. We all watch him slowly and carefully open this big box, painstakingly pulled out a black mechanism putting on top of a three legged stand facing everybody in the living room. Then he suggested how we all get seated in fashionable manner, even recommending how to fold my hands in my lap.
Then he peeks on the other end of that big box now covering his head with a white cloth, then a flash of light came by. The picture above is me on the floor, i wasn’t smiling because i was expecting going out after.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Our House.”