Shiver of Self-Recognition
I gave birth in silence—an unconventional labor induced by the shiver of self-recognition and midwifed by subdued breath. With my back pushed against the crimson earth, and head resting beneath the broad cocoa leaves, my song was born. It didn’t wail with pompous assertiveness, or excessive pride, but whispered softly, deep within me, crawling from beneath a weighted stone of distorted and repressive memories that long defined my existence.
I heard something long absent from my twenty-seven years on earth. I connected with a song that alchemized pain and lies into truth. And I loved it. I loved her deeply.
As a volunteer educator in Abetifi, Ghana, it was my mission to give in resources and training, never thinking I’d receive in return. But the land sired my song. Ampadu, the elder of my village advised me to honor his words: Stop, be still, listen and pay reverence to the land. He speaks and breathes in the natural world. I abandoned my westerner regimen of haste and crippling preoccupation with the past and future. In turn, I set forth to migrate daily, along a non-compassed terrain of verdant rolling hills with rich vegetation and side streets caked with red moistened earth that stained my toe nails. I submitted myself to the breath of the wind, the pulse of the land and heard myself, heard my song.