Emotional Flora & Fauna
Something is missing and I didn't even know it until I read K.J.'s words, describing his return to the womb that is the Rotten Apple. As a small child I was a part of community of children who belonged to a community of Pan Africanist and Nationalist parents. We were bonded through our natural hair, African [sentence] names, vegetarianism, and independent African-centered schools. We did African dance together, ate at each others homes, spent weekends in proper age groupings, delivered speeches of Malcolm and Martin, and excelled under the watchful eyes and in the wide arms of our nuclear and extended families. That was in the Chi.
When we left, and took it to Colorado, there was no familiar community. My mother and her friends created their own and my sister and I became the children of other somewhat like-minded single mothers, the sisters and cousins of their children, and the honorary family members of the South African college students and the West Indian and African community. It was rich with spices and delicious foods, beautiful rolling accents, and adventure. Colorado turned into Virginia where I found myself as 1 of a small number of African Americans in a largely white environment. We few latched onto each other like life vests, scared we'd sink if we didn't hold on to something familiar. In coming to DC, I found kinship, kids who grew up similar to me but who'd already forged their deep rooted bonds from the womb with each other.
K.J.'s words just slapped me and forced me to see that I'm a drifter. I have great friends, many of whom feel like my family. The closest parts of my heart are scattered around the country forging different paths and chasing different carrots. I'm comfortable where I am but I feel like a tree without roots. Without great family examples to show me how it's done, I want to start traditions within my own as well as with my friends. If it can't happen where I live, I want to know that when those of us from the same bloodlines or those of us who've shared fantastic times can converge somewhere in the world and make that place home for as long as we're there. Home is supposedly where the heart is. I hope I haven't discounted what I do have, and I've got a lot when the tallies are all counted. I'd still like to know that warm feelings and inside jokes are just a car ride or couch plop away.
Maybe it's time for me to build a planter.
Watch me move.