Baobab the tree of words

Returning to your native land engenders an emotion that reconnects you with the deepest fibres of your being.

Because from this powerful corner we could listen to incredible talks and stories told by the people who came to sit on the natural stools created by the baobab roots.

The beauty of this extraordinary tree also lies in the fact that as it grows slowly, unhurriedly, ‘blewu, blewu’ as the Ewe people say, its roots stretch in two directions, deep into the soil and up to the surface, and it is here that they indeed turn into small stools of sorts.
In Togo, the German first and then the French colonisers after them called it “Baobab, l’Arbre des Palabres et des mots” which means the tree of words. It is called the tree of words because it is in the shade of its branches that long conversations and chats concerning issues and problems of the village community take place.
One afternoon, while hiding between the bird’s nest and the hollow space left by the roots, I discovered a mysterious object.
A beautiful elegant pen that seemed made by hand. I had never seen anything morebeautiful in my entire life.
I was speechless when, moving towards the sunlight, I could admire the resin with which it was made. On the surface I could see horizontal streaks that intertwined three colours, green, yellow and blue. It was as fascinating as a miniature work of art. A real treasure.
It too had a trunk, or rather a stem, but from it flowed an ink capable of making those words become only listened to, words capable of being handed down from generation to generation, words capable of conveying and bringing to mind even distant worlds.
Just like mine.

I don’t know how that pen ended up under the roots of the baobab; all I know is that I never parted with it from that very moment.
If today I’m in Europe studying journalism I owe it to it, to my pen.
To the one I found under the tree of words, the one that showed me the way to my Destiny. The one that led me to understand that those stories deserved to be written.

I call that pen Baobab, because it is exactly like the majestic tree whose height and size match the depth and beauty of its roots, it too has allowed me to grow and produce my flowers. The flowers of a human being are his goals coming true.
Honouring one’s roots and building bridges for the future. Growing sometimes slowly, but in both directions: inward and outward.
To you my reader, I wish exactly the same.
April 10, 2023 — Salvatore Matrone