Friday, May 30, 2008

Water child

The Orisha believe that Yemanja, is the Divine Goddess of the Sea and the loving Mother of mankind. For them, we are a product of the sea and the land. The sea is often referred to as a woman, with whims and fancies, a dangerous lover and in recent years we have seen the devastation wrought. But I am truly a child of the islands, happy only with the Atlantic or Caribbean sea lapping against my body, caressing as would a lover or tossing me around with scant regard in an ecstasy of brine, foam and solid rolls of water. It is the ultimate freedom, no anchor other than the power of my body to float or swim.

Out on the water with the salty wind slapping my face, watching as the water changes colour, turquoise, aqua, midnight blue, almost black, it is almost too good. I cannot imagine my ancestors, braving the seas going to the unknown; an Indian woman, leaving home with no husband, a young child and another on the way. A Muslim man who we do not know; the Scots missionary, going to save the natives, bring them to the fold, falling himself; the other bits and pieces that may make up this whole.

On this Arrival Day, I salute them all for finding this place that I call home. Though it may be flawed, we are blessed with no extremes of temperature, sunshine, even when it rains; the possibility of escaping to the beach, having a cold, cold Carib while turning your face to the sun. My friends from the cold north constantly harp on our “wild weekends” and the possibility of skiving off early on Friday to start limbering up for the weekend lime. Trinis as happy go lucky people, we win the football match we celebrate by crowding the bars, we lose the football match, we commiserate by crowding the bars. For us there will be no hooligan fights this weekend. We still sleeping off the after effects of too much curry and roti cooked by all of us, tanned deep by the sun whether from the beach or hanging out in our backyards.

Christopher Cross says it much better than me:


It's not far down to paradise
At least it's not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away
And find tranquility
The canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
Believe me

It's not far to never never land
No reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy
Of innocence again
The canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see
Believe me

Takes me away
To where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

It gets the best of me
When I'm sailing
All caught up in the reverie
Every word is a symphony
Won't you believe me

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