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