Ochun (Seco) –Los Munequitos De Mantanzas
Pickney, welcome to life! By the time you are old enough to read this and really understand what I am saying now, you will have been greatly changed. I will be greatly changed, but I hope the things I write here will remain true.
Your mother sent me a picture of your tiny little self, only days old and I have fallen in love with you. We haven’t met yet, but you’re so adorable. Mind you, this a the natural baby cuteness that kicks in the maternal brooding in the female nature, but it doesn’t hurt that you are my cousin. You’ll by now have noticed that Auntie Ndela tells you like it is.
My little letter to you now at your birth, is for her as much for you. Between me and you, I can’t tell you how marvellous and beautiful your life is going to be. Life is hard, and the struggle to define yourself on your own terms is a special trick it takes years and heartbreak and healing to master. So let me not tell you nothing will ever hurt you. You will hurt, but you will heal, you will grow. That’s what you are here to do.
What I have to tell you, maybe doesn’t have anything to do with you, and everything to do with your mother. She is my favourite cousin and one of my best friends… the oldest of them, my kin. Your mother and I have memories of a childhood spent playing imaginary games, putting on plays, exploring ‘The Forest’ and ‘Abandoned House’ next to your great grandmother’s property. I find that to think of you coming into the world, I think you’re lucky to have such a centred, practical, crazy, loving mother. So my prayers for you for your whole life, is to find as good a friendship and partnership with your mother as is possible.
I would like to see you two grow together, and that she is strong enough to let you stand on her shoulders to reach the fruitful bounty of life, and you are wise enough to pass enough of the fruit you find to her beneath you supporting you so she can be sustained as well.
Life may be a struggle, but it is made beautiful by those we love and those who love us. Don’t think for a minute that you can do with her! No matter how much you will chaff at the bit when she restrains you, know it will always be for your protection and out of love for you, and never with ulterior motives other than the fulfillment of her duty to you as your mother.
You mother is your hands and your feet. Without her you go nowhere, can do nothing.
You little princess, are the daughter of a Queen. May you inherit your mother’s spirit, her intelligence, her beauty and may your spirit find strength and example from hers.
I know you’ll be alright. I’ll be around… and if you ever need help, come find me. I have your back, smallie, but you have to call me Auntie Ndela.