At Exactly 5:30

Just above the blue “POST NO BILLS” sign you can see directly into the church grounds. One would never know just how big the lot is until you peer in over the gate. Most of it is free of trees and tiled with reddish clay earth. The church itself occupies just a small corner and doesn’t call too much attention to itself. 

The back wall of the church holds another gate that opens everyday at exactly 5:30. Men, women and children appear dressed all in white and begin to sing. Some wear shoes, others prefer bare feet. The girls wear white scarves over their heads. They march in the exact same direction everyday tracing the footsteps left from the day before. Their feet and voices make four laps around as the oldest man calls out, “Right, left, right, left,” between verses to keep everyone on track. 

We’ve rushed to hear them sing countless times. When we arrive too late, we can see the dust settling  and the voices disappearing behind the gate. They know we watch them. They can see us clearly as they circle round. The men never make eye contact but a few of the young girls sing louder when they pass as we exchange smiles. 

They do this each and every evening to thank God for granting them another day. I admire their commitment to ritual. We watch until they return to where they came, the dust settles again on the reddish clay earth, and the youngest one turns to wave as she locks the gate.

This Ghanaian wax print fabric is called “Tortoise Shell.” It means long life, endurance, and persistence.

10 thoughts on “At Exactly 5:30

  1. Oh my, what is THIS slice I’ve stumbled on of yours? It’s so vividly descriptive. I am humbled by how much you packed into a short slice. Can’t wait to read more of whatever you’ve got in store this month. This is superb writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is Ghana where I currently live and teach. I wish I could write better just to share the moment with others. It happens in the evening though not at dawn. Thanks for your comment.


  2. Thank you for sharing! I really respect and admire those who maintain consistent rituals and appreciate the opportunity of a new day. My hope is this challenge will help me create my own writing ritual that will help me reflect and practice gratitude.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Singing, praying and sharing joys 🙂

    Initially, I thought these group sings 5:30 in the morning. And thought wow! They as well as you are dedicated to do this. Then I realize, oh, it is in the evening. I guess I need to go back to my nap. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience. Thanks for showing us the spirit and beauty we share across the continents.

    Best wishes.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kay this is such a good read. I am enjoying your experiences through your beautifully crafted words and this sentence-“The church itself occupies just a small corner and doesn’t call too much attention to itself. ‘ Helps me envision exactly where the church is.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to bbutler627 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s