Traversing Realms| From Nsawam to Ashresu, Ghana

The slender palm trees dance to the tune of the soft nframa/ wind

tententen/ tall as a mug

Peacefully and full of grace

I catch myself smiling in the reflection of the car window as I glance at bunches of flowers peppered along the roadside.

‘Shwoom’ is the sound of cars speeding past us; it blends beautifully with the soothing sound of Shatta Wale spittin patois from the speakers. Driving in Ghana is exhilarating: it can raise your blood pressure if you are not careful. The road rules are treated as suggestions and the mostly male drivers take pleasure in channeling their testosterone to gamble their lives- and mine. But I know God got me. Driving on the road is not as unruly as in Jamaica, but it comes pretty close.

I look up. We are now passing Teacher Mante. A comfortable silence fills the car as we drive to the funeral in Ashresu. Each of us wear traditional Ghanaian funeral colors, dark blue and black and white. No one wears red or brown, the other appropriate shades.

I see colorful clothes hanging on a line. The vast green landscape nourishes and humbles me in a way only nature can.

A corn plantation grows on the side of the road as we pass by.

Oranges, palm nuts and sugar cane lay in excess along the border just between the tar road and the grasslands. Suddenly, a black bird emerges from atop a tall tree, flying towards freedom. A stampede of cows walk slow and steady down the road across from us led by two Fulani herdsmen.

Bushels of plantain boast strongly, perched like peacocks by the roadside in front of sellers’ stands.

Purple flowers pucker pretty petals. Behind them stands a tree in its barren glory- it’s branches many- resembling sets of thin hands outstretched towards the heavens.

In front of us, a white trotro with a ‘Yes Lord’ sticker on the back rides relentlessly. The vehicle looks like it has been to hell and back, crossing rivers, traversing realms and finally, is heading back home.

Yellow cone shaped flowers stand straight up on a short, thick tree.

The abundance of foliage bless us with oxygen, from the flat plains near us to the slopes mountains, far but visible to the naked eye. I began to think about my cousins in Accompongtown, Jamaica. I am reminded of the endless gifts of the earth, the international family that is the African Diaspora, and I remember that I am finally back home in the motherland! My goodness. I am swept up, coddled and carried away with gratitude.

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