01 December 2019

The Visitor

What do I know. After all, I am not a woman. What I know is that, in the past, I didn't like it whenever my wife had her monthly period. Not for the reason you thought! Just that at the time of pining for children, the appearance of the visitor was a stark reminder, a veritable proof that no baby was coming anytime soon.

Fast forward to now. Not seeing the visitor can be a cause for panic as neither of us want any more babies. How things have changed? I never knew I would be in a position where I would not desire to have children.

So, menstruation as I see it is about life, sacrifice, fertility, unfulfilled hope, despair, time is running out, fear of impending menopause, and many more. Perhaps it is known as 'PERIOD' because it's for a time and season. The time will come when the flow ceases.

I chose to write about menstruation because of its importance to life. And also because of my respect for the way women handle this 'issue' (pun intended) for 30 or more years of their lives without as much creating any scene.

It takes me all of one minute to shave my beard each day, yet, I find the process mildly stressful. So, you can understand why I doff my hat to women for the incredible dignity with which they handle this 'monthly visitor' that often stay for several days. I know this can be an extremely discomforting and discomfiting period for some women.

Talking about discomfiture; growing up, I attended this church that barred women from entering the church building during their menstrual period. Each week, a few women, from teenage to middle age had to make do with worshipping outside the church building. They could come for the service quite alright, but they get confined to the outer court like despised in-laws. Everyone walked past this line of women to get into the church building. It must have felt like running a gauntlet of men pronouncing them unclean! unclean!  I wonder why none of the women defied the rule. Of course, they had been made to believe that this would be disobedience to God. But what if the cycle suddenly starts when a woman was already inside the church building? What I remember was that the women took the experience in their strides, but imagine the feeling of knowing that everyone around you is privy to what was going on in your system.

Given that I am male, I have no window into the psyche of a woman on this matter, and can only conjecture. I can never truly understand the whole gamut of emotions surrounding menstruation. My aim was to write from the perspective of an external observer awed by the very little I know of this phenomenon that has an overwhelming impact on every life, male or female. 

So, for the incredible lightness with which women handle what to me is a very big deal, they have my full admiration.