One week into my vacation, I am well…. dey.
I have been exceedingly dull. I have called a few friends, but for the most part have satyed in the house.
On Saturday afternoon, DivaGirl and I went into Bridgetown to just knock about a bit. See the two of us, one big thick red girl, one dark pixie-ish black girl, both short, walking up the road in pure white and brilliant yellow, with two huge fans, fanning, fanning, fanning all the way. Yes chile, it flicking hot no ass in BIM!
Anyhoo, I had planned to go to see Osun the next day, so there were a few things I had planned to buy before heading up to see her. So it was little yellow fruits to buy, cinnamon and pure honey to find.
DivaGirl is embarking a new enterprise, so part of the day was spent scoping the market and looking for raw materials. Judging from the response we got from everyone, I think it is going to be a disgustingly profitable effort for Ms. Thing…. and I mean, she does really very beautiful work.
So after knocking around town for hours, we finally made it home in time for my mother to bustle both of us in the car to go to the Geriatric Hospital to see my Great Aunt. That was a semi-depressing experience. I mean, it’s one thing to say we are all going to get old, helpless and such before we die, but it was hard to see her in that place. She has also been going a bit senile. At 93 odd years old, it was to be expected, but on Saturday she wasn’t too bad. She had most of her wits about her; when I was leaving I played the sticking-out tongue game we’ve been playing for years and she remembered enough to play along.
She could see well enough to ask me what I had on my tongue. When I told her it was pierced, she only said, “Chile, I thought you had a little cut on your tongue.” All I could do was chuckle.
The next morning, before the sun had risen, DivaGirl came and collected me and we headed north and then east.
We stopped in a crossroads to say a quick prayer for Esu… to ask him to open the pathway before us, to ask him to hear our prayers and take our prayers to heaven. Just so happened that there was a church on a hill facing the round about, and I know we drew some looks as we said our prayers and left three quarters for Esu in the centre of the roundabout.
Never mind that, we were off in less than two or three minutes.
I said to DivaGirl, that we should sing for Mama. So I taught her the one we sing the most in my movements in the Orisa movement, it’s because it’s one of the easiest and happiest ones, I think.
“Ye Ye, Olomi, Ay Ya Ba; Osun Olomi, Ay Ya Ba!”
We had a good time, we sang and clapped.
By the time we got close to where the ‘spring’ was supposed to be, we had to stop and ask a local to point us in the right direction. He gave us some very Bajan directions, but we found the place where we should stop very easily. However, by the time we got out, it wasn’t very clear as to which direction we should be heading in. This is the country, somewhere very close to Bathsheba, I had no idea EXACTLY where. Somwhere behind a primary school.
I started walking down to the main road, hoping to find the lady we saw heading in that direction when we pulled up. But we couldn’t find her.
I told DivaGirl , “Come, let’s just go in the direction of the hill. We’re bound to find it!”
As soon as we started in what turned out to be the right direction, I started to tingle from the roots of my hair, to the tips of my toes. Indeed, as soon as we started up the path, we met a young man who confirmed that we were heading in the right direction, and that the spring was just, ‘over yonder’.
Well, when I finally saw it, I knew that if my Iya had seen it, or any Trinidadian, any person from a ‘big’ island with rivers, would have laughed. It was a small little trickle coming down into a little hallow, just big enough for myself and DivaGirl to fit into. It’s good she’s a tiny chick, because if she was like Big Mama Kambiri, believe you me, it was going to be trouble! But it was surrounded by stones and there where what could pass for steps leading down into it, and there was a pool that
“Well, it will have to do,” I said.
So we climbed down the slippery rocks into the hallow, not before we left three mints and three more quarters for Esu, and again asked him to open the door, to allow us passage into communion with the divine and with his Mother, my mother Osun.
We began to unpack everything.
I poured libation for the Ancestors, saying the well known prayer that begins, “Omi tutu, Ile tutu, Ori tutu, TuTu egungun mi…” and gave them two ears of corn, setting them aside from everything else. Then I called the names of my Ancestors, each one and asked DivaGirl to call the names of her people, as many as she could remember.
Then I handed over the fruit and vegetables to DivaGirl and she began to lay them all out on a convenient shelf in the rock next the tiny trickle of water. We had brought, star apple, butter squash, pumpkin, ground cinnamon, oranges (which fell straight into the water pooling around our ankles and we left it there because obviously that’s where Mama Osun wanted them), pawpaw (for foreigners ‘papaya’), pineapple and of course, HONEY!!! In addition, we had brought slit peas, field peas, lentils, rice, black eyed peas and saffron.
We laid all the fruit and vegetable out, or rather DivaGirl did that while I mixed the grains and saffron together. I gave her one of the huge bowls we had brought, and together we cast huge handfuls of the grains into the stream, into the surrounding foliage, and well quite a bit of the saffron stained our clothes and we turned all the rocks yellow with the stuff. That I think was a good sign.
I explained to DivaGirl that we were feeding the river, feeding the trees and shrubs, feeding all the little creatures that came there to the spring.
Afterwards, I read the invocation to Osun from my Osun Across the Waters. At some point, I could feel that she was there, because I nearly fell down once because it was as though someone had pulled me down to the level of the offering. What is more, as we were unpacking things, mysteriously, two of my business cards (the ones with Sunhead Publishing) on them, slipped into the river. They were in the book and it was when I was moving to put the book down, that they slipped out and into the stream. Another good sign.
Before I poured honey onto the offering, I sipped the honey and gave DivaGirl the jar to sip from as well, I emptied a huge bottle, and was working through the second smaller one, when I had to stop myself remembered to hold some back for Yemoja (The Mother of the Sea) later.
Then I began to pray. I prayed and thanked Mama for all her good works in my life, thanked her for my family and my friends, for the presence of my sister who was with me, and the ability to be able to come and find her wherever she was. I thanked her for the AMAZING WOMAN I had met the day before, and for the words she gave me, (to use cinnamon bark, to keep cinnamon around me, and chew on it, that cinnamon was for me, that to get a powder puff and use it to dust cinnamon all over my skin, that it would bring love to me, and sweeten me; that she knew I wanted a baby real bad, but that everything was going to be okay; that I should listen more and if I wanted people to hear me out, I would to hear them out; she also told me more than once to use a lot of honey–now the third seer to tell me this; that I was going to be okay, I was going to be okay……); I asked My Most Beautiful, Wonderful and Kind Mother Osun, the Mother of Prosperity and Wealth to help my business, to help me find my husband, to make him smart and make him independent and to make him growing in all directions; to draw all good things to me, and to protect me from negativity; to help me make money on this trip to Barbados, to bless me and keep me safe. I said other things, but those were the highlights.
DivaGirl said her prayers too. In fact, she gave Mama one of her beautifully designed bracelets and thanked her for all the things she had been given.
Afterwards, I coated everything with palm oil, but I didn’t have much of it, so I was conservative in the libation. Then it came time to ask if all was acceptable. She said she wanted the fan I had brought with me, the one I had so furiously been swatting at myself, the whole day on Saturday.
Then a dragon fly appeared, and She said she wanted us to sing and dance, so we sang again, and I shook my ‘maracas’ and we danced.
Then She told us we could go.
Someone was waiting on the hillside when we emerged, a young man who was quite shocked to see us, and was totally charming and escorted us back to the car, almost unsure of himself and what to say, how to say it, completely overwhelmed.
I was touched by his sincerity and the sweetness of his comments; so much like Osun, to find a man waiting and polite after something like that.
I thought the whole thing was sweet. There was an intimacy there, encouraged by the depression the spring ran into, and the highness of the vegetation all around. It was nothing like the last time I went to the river alone with someone else. Then, I got into a right pissy mood after, and Osun didn’t seem to appreciate the effort as much. I also forgot much, forgot to do certain things. This time I remembered everything in the right sequence.
Afterward, when we were heading back down the road, we stopped to give Yemoja a zaboca (advocado for foreigners) and some of the honey I had saved. We stopped at a crossroads in Spieghstown and gave Esu three oranges and three more coins, asking again to hear our prayers and take them to heaven for us.
Then DivaGirl and I went to a calm sea shore on the other side of the island, and while she picked up some more glass off the beach (for her work), I smoked a cigarette and tried to pick off the little seeds of some plant that had clung to me, seeking migration in my skirts.
Did I forget to mention that the whole day was punctuated by more butterflies than I can count. We saw dozens and dozens flying all around us, and they were almost all yellow in colour or white.
When we reached back to my mother’s house, DivaGirl gave my hair a conditioning rinse, and then took the time to roll my locks for me, something it desperately needed.
We nattered and surfed poor besieged smotty’s journal, and I lamented my disappointment in the Journalspace Censorship Board.
It was a simple day, but it felt good from beginning to end; except the last part about smotty.