A Reflection on my homeland Hairouna

When I get homesick I feel it in my belly.

Although it’s only been 9 months since my last trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it often feels like years.

It’s a strange experience living in the diaspora. Myriads write about it. It’s an inseparable part of being West Indian. We are a region of parts. Though united by history and culture we are divided by water.

IMG-20181028-WA0039

I’m watching videos about my country. The pangs hit me again. Not a mansion does it hold for me but always is it first in my heart.

Recently I flew to Vancouver, Canada. The concept of moving among islands, from Richmond to Vancouver island to Granville island to Victoria island. It’s a familiar one.

Where I come from, I can decide today to jump on a boat which would tow me to another slab of land dressed in green without having ever left the country. Mayreau, Bequia, Union Island just to name a few of our beautiful gems totaling at thirty two.

I miss the neighbours bearing unexpected gifts of bananas, breadfruits and coconut oil. I miss the shrill ringing of a tambourine on a Sunday and a dry mouthed anticipation for communion.

I miss the sunny rays splayed beyond the height of my mother’s bedroom window, littering the ocean with diamonds. The small silhouettes of brown horses galloping behind pickets in the distance. The tall coconut trees waving their fronds, gallant against the wind.

IMG-20181028-WA0044
I miss my stout, short buildings and the narrow roads I love to drive on in the country side with the sea salt lapping against my face as I pull the steering wheel clockwise. Turns and bends and hills and curves and the single, strong yellow streak carrying on from town to town.

I miss how the cyan blue pelts against the obsidian beauty that outlines the entire isle. Glittering, kissed with fire of sun and lava.

IMG-20181028-WA0038

I miss swinging from the hard, slender limbs of the plum tree. Arching my back to take on the hill before me in a ninja run. Hopefully the odd vehicle who has chosen a path like mine won’t bowl me over.

Give me the blaring fish horn on a morning or the smell of the neighbour’s boil in or the lost goat in our garden. Give me the pounding flow of rivers battering smooth dark stones for ages. How I long to plunge within that rush of foam and transparency.

IMG-20181028-WA0043

I love my one Scotiabank. My KFCs I can count on one hand. Don’t let anybody fool you they are landmarks. If I tell you I’m at Scotia you know exactly where my feet are planted. Though little we may be, we are fierce. Like the lingering savour of seasoning and meat on my tongue. Like the directness with which we speak. Like the vigour of our ancestors defending our land and nourishing the green Earth with their bones and names.

French enough for a Colonarie or a Chateaubelair.
English enough for Georgetown or Kingstown.
Carib enough for Owia.
Syrian or Indian. Portuguese or African. Find us all here in classrooms and shops and nine mornings and beaches. In houses on hills, in town in throngs. united with vocals in creole under the snocone vendor’s umbrella, across the park, the galvanise, the street at Peace Mo., the counter.
Vibrating Scakes say dat “we are a nation of many races and have tried hard to integrate.”
Steeped in a history of blood and ash, we emerge free with cultures and colours on display. More than blue, gold and green.
Take me to glorious Hairouna. Where the hills and mountains are towers. Where I am small to these leviathans of wonder. Where houses ripple down into valleys with grace though large and looming.
Take me home. Sometime soon.
Until then, I will have to settle for Skinny’s video on loop.
-CiCi (Jacinth Howard)
P.S. Special thank you to the brilliant Ariel Haynes who supplied these beautiful photos! Inbox my fb page if you would like to know more about her work! See you next week! A commission is coming.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Allan says:

    Such a beautiful piece for a beautiful place. Keep writing love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zoanne Evans says:

    A beautiful read. Filled with nostalgia and longing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved it! I could see, feel, smell and taste every description. Beautiful writing style Jaci ❤

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s