Back in June of 2002, my dad organized for me to go on my first visit to the river.
He found an Oshun priestess he trusted, organized a car and sent me on my way.
At the time, I had a job interview later the same day, and had been quite anxious to leave Barbados and find some stability. I know I really wanted the job. It was an Associate Editor’s gig and it was definitely a come up.
I was 28 years old, and Mami Wata, Yemoja and Oshun had all been whispering to me for a while, and this was me beginning to listen.
Two things I remember from the drive into eastern Trinidad:
- The Oshun priestess (now long dead) listened to me talking about my frustrations and longings, and gave me my first lesson about asking the spiritual realm for help: The baby that doh cry doh geh no milk. Be sure to tell Yeye exactly what you need.
- We were horribly late coming back from the river and my anxiety was skyrocketing. On the way back she said, “Don’t worry about it. We can slow down the clock.” We did indeed slow down the clock, and I showed up for the interview a mere fifteen minutes late, aced it and indeed got that job.
I’m currently the baby crying, and I am getting nourishment from the abundance of my Yeye’s breasts. But it’s been about learning to be precise, clear and exact in saying what I needed.
When I was pregnant with Dayo, in a reading Yemoja and Oshun promised me that I’d never be homeless, and I’d always find food.
And all of this is to say that faith is a powerful thing and They have kept their promises to me always.
You think it’s my faith in my sipirituality, but it’s actually the other way around. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my Njuzu, Orishas, Mami Watas and Neter… they believe in me. Even when my faith is weak, and I don’t believe in myself… they have always believed in me.
It’s something that I don’t rely on at all, but when it remains the last place to land, whether gracefully or in a broken heap, it becomes something that envelops and overwhelms and remains the bedrock of my life.
I’ve spent my whole life being stubborn about ‘doing it myself’. But nothing good I’ve done has ever been done alone to my own credit. I have always needed help and I’ve accepted that I am always going to need help.
As my 50th year approaches, I’m finding myself continually reminded that I need to let you, and my spirit-family know what’s up more regularly.
I went too quiet for too long this time. That’s the shame and trauma, the PTSD and ADHD, but I see myself more clearly now than I have on a decade.
So I am asking for milk…
And I’m slowing the clock down.