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Reflections: Aruba on my mind.

Reflections: Aruba on my mind.

Marcus Garvey once said that a people without a knowledge of their History
Is like a tree without roots.
The man was right
For in order to know where we are going
It is essential to know where we came from.

I applaud the Grenadian writers who are tapping keyboards
In an effort to etch the past on paper and on the internet
But those who stand on the side and criticize
Should grab hold of pens
And let the world know their story.

Like water that gushes from a spring
Stories should spring from the knowledgeable.
Many already moved on and were buried with their books
Books that were imprisoned in their minds.
I should have done more
To pull stories that rested in their brains.
But I was a young gospo
And I did not even ask my father
Of his time in Aruba
Before my eyes saw a breadfruit.

If it was possible for a second chance
I would ask him about life in Aruba
For many years ago
Grenadians went to Aruba to work in oilfields
Prime Minister Eric Gairy went to there too.
I would ask my father to tell me about the place called Largo
A Grenadian man loved Largo so much
He came back to Grenada and called his wooden bus “Largo Pride”
Another named his bus “Aruba Special”
The link was there and engraved on the back of buses.

But alas! The buses are gone
Just like many of the men and women who went to Aruba
And there are stories that will never see daylight
Unless dedicated Grenadian writers
Resurrect them from the ashes.

I would ask my father about the Grenadian community
That grew and bore fruits like a mango tree in Aruba
I would like to know what they did for fun
What games they played
How did the people of Aruba treat them?
Why some did not return to Grenada?

Now to those whose mouths can still utter
Those with stories to tell
Let them flow like rivers in motion
Before the dry season comes
And all the stories evaporate.
Anthony Wendell DeRiggs