Monday, June 1, 2009

Everyone needs a father

I've been reading Lawrence's The Book of Negroes during my move- grabbing a moment here and there. The story of Aminata, a young girl taken captive and transported to the USA as a slave is captivating, heartbreaking and inspiring.
To avoid beatings, I hurried to do the work quickly and kept myself company by imagining encouraging words from my father.
What a difference a father would make
. A father to speak to me in my own language, to show me how to avoid being hit, to show me how to be in this new land. I ached for someone who knew everything about me and knew exactly how to guide me. Inside my head, I tried to hear the sound of my father's voice while his fingers lit gently on my arm.
"This is what they want, Animate, and this is how to survive...You are in a new land now. Do what it takes to stay alive. I am watching over you, Daughter. I see you in this new land. You crossed the big river and you must keep on living." p. 132, 133.
Animata's story propels me forward in my own "new land". I DO have such a Father and if I'm listening, will hear the kind of loving guidance we both long for.

It also helps me understand the courageous refugees I share life with- the horrific experiences they've endured, the mountains they must scale in order to learn how to be in a new land, the role family and community can play as they forge ahead.

I think I'll introduce them to my Father!