Gumah Jia/Gia would search the forests on the island (Madagascar or the brother island, near it) for plants; plants to heal soothe, excite, release, calm...all you can imagine, they would help her do. This was how it was, for all the women, of her family, as far back as she'd been told...as she could see.
It was searching for these things, listening to them and her spirits, that would be her last memory of home. Initially, she'd tried to keep up with the direction, these "thieves of souls" were taking her...spirits gave her calm and whispered, "Jia jao, this is of no use now. We are with you...remember who you are." She let go... My Gumah let go and held on, with the strongest heartbeat she could summon, playing her beat with her blood. In the boat, listening to the water, smelling the blood and many other scents of earth and life's leaving, she called upon the Air, the Water the Earth (a vanilla bean hiding where she could and what was spilling out and around the bodies near her~Earth, from many dying people) and the Spirits, which were holding her close, she pledged. Jia pledged to live, regardless of all around her, regardless of the sorrow and pain...she promised, performing an incantation, of her soul, of "Survival" and memory.
I see these times of my grandmother, clearly, like a dream, sometimes, as I walk around. Many of her memories, she has hidden from me...I still see them, in her eyes. When the sights and feelings get hard, she goes away, behind her face and I am alone. Alone, I find my home, love and family in the sunshine, talking with the river, speaking song with the birds. There is so much here and the wind, she carries it all. Here, in the sky to below all of the roots, is my heart's home. My warm nest, for Calista.
Gumah Jia left the fields, one night when the stars spoke to her, guiding the way. When she was very deep into the forest, they found her after a few days. She knew they'd been there, watching her heal an animal and knowing which plants and berries to eat. The forest whispered of her presence and she'd heard them asking their spirits, deciding what to do. Jia knew all would be okay here and soon she would be met and married; eventually the first medicine woman in their tribe.
My mother came on a full moon and on a full moon, she would leave. Journeying to hear the music that sometimes sang to her, from far away. Gumah said that her heart beat to a far away song and though she wouldn't find it, she would always want to fly this way; said it was the call from Home. She would go behind her eyes and be very quiet, in these times, angry at those who placed this song in her blood. Mama has a husband (in the way that was allowed in the fields, where she made home), far from the jungle and learned everything new, searching for Home, for her heart.
When I came, she was working and that is how I remember her. Working, wiping blood, from her body, that Papa or work or the boss man would call from her, for one reason or another. She was always moving, sad, with never tears. One day she was gone and a woman, with a brown face, speaking words I did not yet know, took me, while I tried to wake myself. Ever quiet to not wake papa (he could bite like a snake, if he awoke, because of us), I followed her.
It was a walking dream and I knew her, by smell; she was like mama but stronger. She was older, but she was stronger than any woman I'd seen. This, i wanted to know, to see, more...to be. Strong woman, moving silently, one with the wind...in a pause, she held my hand to her heart. "Jia jao", she said. Holding her hand to my heart, she said, "Calista'r' jao". With my grandmother, we journeyed into another world.
The deeper we sank, into the jungle, as we moved, the sounds began speaking to me and I was closer...closer to my heart's home.
S East coastal Africa to Suda~America: Brazil, Peru and our Inca~lineage family
Cali~star (of Gaia, many centuries ago)