Midden is defined as mound or deposit containing shells, animal bones, and other refuse that indicates the site of a human settlement. It is the debris of the past and we all have our own middens, some we carry on our shoulders as a burden and some we step on and stand proudly for having lived through it. Sometimes, we see the middens of others that stands as a sign of victory and tells you that you too can do the same as they did and succeed.
When I left for US, I had taken my books with me to study, thinking that I could certainly study an hour each day. My exams are in March and I have so much to study, yet each evening instead of studying I watched Fa la la on Disney. ( I found motels based on the availability of a microwave, fridge and Disney channel)
I spend the Christmas eve with my uncle and aunt whom I haven’t seen for 35 years. My aunt was writing her board examination to renew her medical license and even on Christmas eve, she was studying. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to study. I found one excuse after another why I can’t study.
I met her the next day at another aunt’s house for the Christmas day party. She came to US 9 years ago on family migration. She studied pre degree in Kerala. It was her dream to do a degree. she worked in a factory, while learning English as a second language, did a lab tech course (while still working in the factory), then did a degree and is now employed by an Ivy League uni and is doing her PhD. She was also on the dean’s list.
I can’t study in the evening, for I am exhausted by the time I fed the kids and cleaned the kitchen. I don’t even watch the news on TV anymore. I can only study in the morning, so I set two alarms one at 3.45 AM and one at 4 AM. I struggle each morning trying to get up to study. Sometimes I curse myself for still wanting to study, when I have everything and achieved all that I set out to do. Then I think of her and tell myself, if she could do it, then there is no excuse I can give. So, I get up at 4 am to study, even on Sundays..Her midden is my midden.