Monday, 23 February 2015

Thoughts from the other side of the postcard: Part 1

Some folk think that I  am living the charmed life on the 'Nature Island'. Don't get me wrong, my life style has changed drastically, and all for the better I may add; running  our business, hands on,  and doing something that I have wanted to do for a long time. It seems appropriate that our business is all about nature and wellness - we create our own herbal massage oils and aromatic creams, with herbs and spices either grown on our land, or sourced locally from farmers who do not use any harmful fertilisers or chemicals. We also package dried and fresh herbs. We go out on the streets and sell to the locals and tourists. I feel that I am living my dream!
Check out our Facebook page EnTaise EnTerprises™ for further information. Well, after that quick sponsor advert, let me continue with my blog post!

When I first starting blogging about migrating to The Commonwealth of Dominica, I compared it metaphorically  to wearing an ill fitted, tight jacket. My jacket still feels tight at times, but mostly it is transforming into a better fit, all the way around. At times, when I do my daily reflection and meditation in the morning,  when I have offered up a libation to my ancestors, when the different tropical birds are chriping away  in flowing harmonies,from my wooden shutters or balancing on the rails of our soon to be completed verandah,  where the many small lizards scamper and seek sanctuary from the hot solar rays, where our cat and two dogs dart freely around the land, I I marvel at it all, and the same time, I get a bit perplexed at it all. I mean, here I am, sat in the lap of nature, where the Caribbean Sea is not a mirage, and the many bowing trees of moringa, the great big mango tree, sandwiched against our soursop tree, the trailing passion fruits, which constantly carpet the soft, rich earth earth, where plants and plants of wonderful smelling, aromatic basil, succulent plants of aloe vera, peeking scarlets of tomatoes, heads and heads of lettuce, and other vital crops, lovingly cultivated by my husband's hands; where the tall palm of our coconut tree - where coconut water is drank - instead of purchasing it from a shop, and the soft jelly flesh of this nut is devoured hungrily by my husband and myself,  I am in awe. Absolute awe and cradled in the abyss of paradise.

But, on the other side of this postcard of my thoughts is my perplexion thoughts, on why there is not any manufacturing plants to capture the amazing resources from this land, the high rate of unemployment of youth, the continuing plague of the rise of alcoholism and the slow emergence of crack cocaine, the disenfranchised people left to accelerating poverty because agriculture on this precious island has been abandoned due to the political ramifications of it all, on how the cost of living on this island is exhorbitantly expensive. The economy is virtually non-existent  -except for the small  Chinese community, who dominiate the majority of business in Roseau and the environs , In addition  a recently voted administration who have constantly been accused of corruption and other negative deeds within the land  - check Dominica News Online, which gives some indication of how people feel about Dominica, and some who are attempting to advocate for change. I won't go too much into the political aspect however, suffice to say, it does not look too good for democracy. But hey...

I remember, as a  young girl, just reaching the milestone of my puberty, that I did not want to live in the UK when I got older. It wasn't due to any conscious thoughts at all, I just felt that I did not really belong there. Since that time, I have had paradoxical notions about my 'Britishness, and how my identity ties within all of this. I just knew that I wanted to marry somebody who did not live in the UK. I wanted to be with a man who was either from Africa or the Caribbean and who would mirror my thoughts. It took a long, long time. But I guess, when you have that belief, that nagging intuition, it finally manifests. Well, it did for me, albeit, it took me two children, studying for two degrees, stress, heartache and then joy to finally manifest into my reality.

I was briefly chatting to a brother on Facebook earlier on today. I think, in his own way, inspired me to write this blog post. He told me that what I did was an inspiration for others to follow my lead; and to also bridge the gap between the diaspora and  the motherland. I know that fear sometimes takes us out of the equation to literally step out on faith. Fear, I know, has kept me back from my dreams. But as I sit here,with the brillant sunshine pouring truimphantly  through my mosquito screen, and when I stand up, I can actuallysee the Caribbean Sea, sparkling like jewels, I give thanks to the fierce Goddess within me, that never gave up on my dreams - even when there were negative forces against my husband and myself to abandon them. I give thanks to my ancestors, to whose shoulders I balance on a daily basis, who keep me humbled.

I do not see myself as a pioneer. I just listened to my growing intuition  -which has grown even sharper whilst living in Waitukubuli. I know its the spirit of my ancestors, who are gently guiding me towards the direction that I was meant to live. My late mama was born in Nigeria, I was born in London, and I am now living in the Caribbean. Make of that what you will.

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