And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.Robert Frost
It is almost 34 years later since that mother with her family was assisted by an eager teenage Sappo, who found them a house to rent and a mobile cart, to this new home. A home, which was found from fear, but later created with hope and a need to start over. Though the experiences over the past years have been challenging, the family has been able to weather all the storms that life has inflicted on them.
More children have been born and the once, one bedroom that they all piled into, has been extended to accommodate an ever-growing family. There has been the need for deep reflection, introspection and reconciliations. However, they have survived along that unknown road they choose to embark on, on that fateful day.
On August sixth, which is the Independence celebration for Jamaica, the family celebrated, in their own way the birth of a new nation. But also, inadvertently, the emancipation of one woman and her children from violence, to shape a future that was crafted from the ashes of their dreams. To do this they invoke the creator; and they also celebrated life by having some good Jamaican food!
The evidence of this family’s ability to be resilient is reflected in the food they were able to supply at this dual celebration. Instead of curry goat, there was curry chicken back! Instead of mannish water, there was fish tea. There was self-made roti, and of course since there was no pork or chicken to jerk, then there was jerk/roast fish. As for entertainment, there was domino and the every present music blaring in the background. All prepared and done outdoors; the only place they could be done.
So while they first arrived, like the untried voyagers they were with empty bellies, fear and the unknown, this family was able to fashion a safe harbor to weather, past, present and future storms. Even in the mist of loss they still celebrate.
It was a good day for everyone who could be there. There was food, family, music and good friends – and some who just came for the food. At the end of the day everyone left feeling satisfied that they had enjoyed themselves. And that woman sat in the shadows of an ackee tree, and saw what her choice had resulted in. She had fashioned an imperfect save harbor, from which anyone could lay an anchor or set sail if they so desired.