Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Country Roads Take Me Home

Country Roads Take Me Home

To the place I belong. Last year we spent 6 months in the yard on the South Coast, for me a time of reliving the past of my Parents and Grandparents and in some ways my own. But more from the telling of stories from my Mama and Daddy about the way they grew up. Life was simpler then, life here, now was/is simpler than what I’m accustomed to, this is why this time is so special to me.

It was a time of taking stock, just sitting and enjoying the little things , reflecting, meditating, writing my journals, reading many books, purchased as well as the old fashioned way, from the library, reasoning with from the 5 year olds, to the elders in my community, baldhead to Rasta, Moslem, to Christian, to Heathen, seeing things from a new perspective, and at times marinating in the sun till I became a golden brown, with thoughts of nothing beyond how tall the Sugar Cane was growing. Spending time with Myself and all who crossed my path. Through my harassing them or their reaching out to me, or from mutual interests.

The yard is on a corner lot, right across from the canefeilds, actually we are surrounded by sugar cane feilds for miles and miles.

The cane feild when we we arrived April 2011

Sugar canefeild by the time we left in December 2011. I  will miss the burning of the cane, an event that I am told is one of great enjoyment, everyone participates in some way, music, food, drinks for everyone, all ages , even RJ.
My Yard or my cozy outside verandah. See my country bench my guys built me. what looks like just a bunch of junk is actually what drew the kids to our yard, we had an old motor bike they could ride.

My mango tree canopy

Sunrise over the canefeilds, in April 2011

Our yard has three mango, and three ackee trees, the mango trees form a canopy that is my hang out spot most days, rain or shine, its my vantage point for watching everything and everybody pass through the district. A good place to hold court and classes. Many fascinating people passed my way.

My main crew were the kids in the District and I enjoyed watching their antics, cousins, brothers and
sisters, friends wholesome good clean child‘s play. The little man in the tram, RJ, his facial expressions never changed, always one of seriousness. He allowed them to carry him on their hips, push him around in the tram, he served as lookout on most of their fruit tiefing adventures with no complaints. It was fun watching the kids, to watching the animals in the yard and realizing how much their behavior is similar to humans.

My main crew

I had to keep a constant eye on the kids, they were always getting into something, one day we were sitting in the yard and Chloe walked by, she came back immediately with an angry look on her face to inform me that Edward and Jean had started a fire, seems they had gathered eggs, gone into the kitchen for a pot and proceeded to start a fire around the corner out of our view, to cook them, but little miss Chloe busted them! Funny, the fire they built was better than the one T had built earlier to roast fish and breadfruit.

Roasted fish, cooked on the coal cook pot along with roasted breadfruit. Cooked outside and eaten right there, inna yaad. Very Tasty.

It seemed that every one in our District is related or connected in some way, 3 and four generations of Sugar Cane employed families and long time friends. In our family Granny had 11 children, with 3 sets of twins one girl/boy set and 2 girl/girl sets. All but 2 had children, who had children, who had children, so we are talking an extended family of over 40 people, 4 generations, most who still live in the district or nearby, a few have gone foreign, or in other Parishes working, but traditionally some of their kids are being raised by the grandparents. They don’t believe in farming the kids off to babysitters outside the family, so babies are sent home to Mother for a time. 

Granny lives in the home of one of the daughters and her husband, who live in foreign, but her caretaker is one of her other daughters and everyone goes by to spend time and check in with her. All around the district this is a practice, sending parents to Old Folks Homes is not a standard practice here, majority keep their families together. Connected. There are many cases where non family members move in with or move non family into their homes to take care of them. This is a very close knit community. Not saying there are not issues, but I love that when a situation arises, someone intervenes and most times it gets squashed. People check on the elders and look out for the children. Or in my case the kids just decided I needed looking after.