25 May 2010

Dear Jamaica

One of my dear friends from home wrote this piece and she speaks my language. From age 6 we went to the same schools, participated in the same extra curricular activities, and have traveled similar paths as we've lived. For that reason I can share this note echoing the same sentiments as if they were my own. Nicole is a published writer and you may not be familiar with her now, but you will. Consider this an introduction...

Dear Jamaica:

I love you, have always loved you. I’m not sure now why loving you from a distance made more sense, but I’m sure it had a lot to do with opportunities that your valleys, lush hills and mountains, your beautiful sunshine, your vast blue beaches, fruit trees, and graves immersed in red soil where my ancestors were buried couldn’t offer me. You see, America with her promise of liberty offered me freedom to be, freedom to rise above class and socioeconomic limitations, freedom to love how I love, freedom to make it. For some reason Jamaica, I never saw myself living on your soil as an adult. I know you’re probably laughing and shaking your head now, perhaps asking in the lull of your tropical breeze reaching me all the way across the ocean, “But haven’t I raised you to be who you are?”

The answer is yes, Jamaica. Yes, you have made me the woman I am, from the deep brown of my skin kissed by the sun, to the kinks in my hair growing from roots that connect me to the maroons whose fierceness thickens my blood. Jamaica, you owned me. You instilled in me ambition to leap over hurdles and soar to new heights. You knew that I was a free spirit who as a child, often chased the wind when it blew the clothes on the clothing lines or when it rustled the palm trees that chattered like washer women gossiping at the river under the watchful midday sun. You knew. You knew when given the opportunity I would run with it. This was what happened when you planted the seed of education in the minds of your children from the tender age of three and exposed us to your rich culture in the arts. You knew that with education and exposure, we would one day rise to fulfill our promise to you; to salute you and make you proud where ever we go in life. That’s what you wanted, Jamaica. And you see? I did it.

So now that you’re in distress, I’m helpless not being able to return to save you. The politicians have had a field day with your riches and now the people are paying the price. From a distance I hear the people’s cry, I see that they want new blood to run the country, write new laws, put our heads together and form new ways of thinking. Jamaica, it was on your soil that I learned that “the heights of great men and women are reached and kept”, and so whatever we put our minds to and work towards, it will come to pass. Yes, it will.

Jamaica, there is a new generation coming to save you now. You might not know yet because some of them have been partying their days and nights away to cope with not being taken seriously by the generation before them, but there are a selected few who see through all that and have made up their minds to take charge of their own destiny. This situation with Dudus is showing many young Jamaicans that they need to wake up and claim you for the first time in their life as their country. You watch. Jamaica, change is coming and it will be for the better. And if I can help it, I’ll be right there with them too.

Your Prodigal Daughter, Nicole
© 2010


  1. awww Miki, thanks for re-posting this! I'm truly disturbed by what's going on in the place where we spent our childhood. Now we can only pray and hope for the best as well as actively try to make a difference.

  2. Amen to that. It's so hard to help those who don't want it; so praying & thinking will have to take place in order to put things into action. [& anytime Nic :)]