Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Time

Maya and i arrive just in time for Christmas in the Village. We waltzed into the holiday vibe moving to the beat of our “just return” rhythms and the festive spirit of a holiday season loved and celebrated. This year we were blessed with the arrival of our farm family from Ohio Valley, Antigonish. This is the first time family from the Otherside have arrived for Christmas and most importantly Maya's birthday. An element of specialness was added to the season. Gemma and Bara arrived two days before Christmas and spent their first day on the island baking local chocolate delights while wiping the sweat from their faces and taking short breezy veranda breaks. Yearly we have a Village gathering to celebrate Maya's birth! Maya was born nine years ago in this little board house, arrived just in time before neighbours showed up for gifts of sorrel, ginger beer and cake. No one from the Village knew i was having a home birth; a natural practice that has been swallowed whole here in Grenada by the medical profession just as it has in Canada. Christmas day neighbours arrived to their Village Sistren, magically high, rocking on the veranda with one hour Maya snuggled into the warmth of new beginnings.
“What girl you give birth home? Eh eh you real brave!”
“What i didn't know white women could be so strong minded”;
“Girl you real have belly oui!”
Various comments decorated the air full of love and surprise.

This year the air was full of kids. Kids in the yard, the house, the veranda, the skin up tree, the driveway, the bench across the road. “Kids for real!”. Music shook up the house while we laughed; shared holiday traditions; took photos; passed around xiona (the baby of the gathering); played dominoes; sheltered the rain; gave jokes; laughed and laughed some more; ate cake, cookies, popcorn, sweets; drank sorrel, ginger beer, malt, carib and black wine. By the end of the night, 12 year old Etson was beating the drum and the kids were dancing up a small tropical sun shower, squished into our tiny birthing home.

Another celebration remembered and cherished.

One Love
and Glorious blessings for the New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Transitions: Crossing over

I pulled this quote from a bundle of old love letters i found just before heading to the airport, just before crossing over the bridge....

"nobody can live on a bridge but its fine for comings and goings, meetings and partings, or long views to some place where you may, in the crazy weathers of struggle, now and again want to be".

An appropriate quote as i stumbled around for the past month reflecting on both worlds. A whirlwind of thoughts spiraling; confusion and clarity dancing cheek to cheek. I sit now on the other side of the bridge early morning dawn slowly turning, fishing boats moving out to sea, birds awakening, roosters chorusing, night turning into day and I look back and feel the nostalgia of a world left behind. I move into my writer self and commit once again to recording and sharing the rhythms of my heart.

Crossing Over

Crossing over we move through the airport loaded down with books, clothes, art supplies, gifts of various sizes and a new sacred drum. We get on the plane regardless of the weight, regardless of the drum that won't fit underneath the seat or the overhead; regardless that we forgot in our hand luggage a small jar of bear fat, a gift of healing and strength from our First Nation Elders. We get on and we are crossing, we are crossing over;

Crossing over we meet Guyanese rapper taxi man who recognizes our Caribbeaness through the way we bounce up to his language and music. He shares with us his cd, a mixture of rap, calypso and parang. We buzz through downtown Toronto bouncing to the rythms of the island;

Crossing over we stay at a Toronto airport hotel. We are on the bridge crossing over but still deeply immersed to the side we are leaving. Maya begging for cable tv and i longing for deeper connectedness through emails from the side we are leaving;

Crossing over we are on the plane to Trinidad. Elder Trinidadian (Trini) woman comments on a young mother who in frustration and tiredness tells her young daughter to “hush her freakn self!” Elder lady comments “freakn is a dog's name not a child's name”. Young mother begins to curse the elder lady telling her to mind her own freakn business! Crossing over we are moving into a land where people still hold on to their beliefs of villages raising children;

Crossing over we are surrounded by Trinis going home for the holidays. Young Rasta man looks our way and hails us with a closed fist to the heart. I nod in respect and love.

Crossing over we are in Trinidad airport waiting for our last flight. Music begins to settle throughout the waiting area; a blend of Richie Spice and other Jamaican rhythms. Hips start to sway, bodies moving natural and free. Two flight attendants break into dance while walking to their gate.

Crossing over Maya shouts, “mommy look!” Grenada swings into sight with a splatter of lights covering the hills and valleys. We are landing on the other side of the bridge. We are crossing, but I am also the one glancing back to the other side of the bridge already feeling the tugs of longing, a longing for the familiarity of the land i was born to. Crossing over i am also fully aware of these precious gifts of crossing and living two diverse and distinct worlds; transitioning, transforming, one foot on each side confused yet clear at the same time.

Crossing over we are Home again.