“I had an inheritance from my father,― Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls
It was the moon and the sun.
And though I roam all over the world,
The spending of it’s never done.”
Imagine a place where the diversity is so great that there are 150 plant species, 101 endemic to that place; and, an array of delicate but strong orchids that speak to our humanity but iron will to survive . Imagine if your imagination is so expansive, Over 500 variety of the same but no the same ferns – if you know what I mean. They all form a warm rainbow of a blanket to remind us that God is still with us. Not to be outdone are arthropods of all kind, birds and other animals too numerous to name – those that sit high and look low and those that sit low and look high.
As the backdrop are rivers of pure, crystal clear water, that swell with life and which are life giving. Water that not only supply its occupants and those around, but also a nation. They all co-exit, they are all interdependent, they are all connected by this place that they have been created in. They have all managed to eke out a small space for themselves and have all managed to thrive despite years of change and upheavals taking place on their doorsteps.
This bit of paradise has been the scene of epic wars, that led to a state within a state; a testimony of the strength of people who stood their ground in great adversities. A place that proved to be a haven, a home from the cruelty of slavery for many men, women and children. A place that carries the heartbeat of a people; where the echoes of the Abeng still sound. It is a place that has been forgotten, like any place that has been forgotten, for its value by many. By many too busy trying to survive the barrenness left by empty promises and unfulfilled dreams. By those who have been disappointed, or, by those who think they have managed without it, surviving on their own genius. This Monday, October 21, 2019, we celebrate some of the men and women who have played their part in shaping a land that provides a space for freedoms of all kind. Let us remember that with the freedom we enjoy, should be a responsible to protect and appreciate the little bit of paradise we still have. Let that be one legacy left for others who travel this way.
George William Gordon 1865 (Jamaican National Hero)
“It is, however, the will of my Heavenly Father that I should thus suffer in obeying His command to relieve the poor and needy and to protect, as far as I was able, the oppressed.”