The following short story, won me 3rd place in the Dominican Diaspora short story Contest and was featured in the Dominica Literary Festival during August 5th – 7th. Please give a read. The story was based on this photo attached.
Since this was my first ever contest written for, I feel elated to have placed in the top-3. Much gratitude to Natasha Henderson Shillingford, http://www.dominican-diaspora.com/profile/NATASHAHENDERSONSHILLINGFORD Director of DD for her hard work and effort. Photo included was taken by: Celia Sorhaindo http://www.flickr.com/people/tropicallytied/
She was home to thousands for over a hundred years long before my existence, then she became home to me. Who can forget how relentlessly she stood perched high above any high-rise her people ever knew in the town whose name she bore? Stoically this woman was the first to be seen, by the crew of every vessel who approached her safe haven. Like a natural expectation, always on the shore, she had a daily rendezvous with the sea and its patrons. This vast aqua body stood like a source of daily refreshment for the woman’s children, and she was happy to keep watch over them like a mother hen. Somehow people remarked that she was fearless, for only a brave woman could withstand the site of such a vast domain without fleeing even when it got angry at her and her children. Oh and angry it got many a time.
There is absolutely no doubt that this woman was strong, for she endured a lot of misery. Talk about the long rainy days, the times when she withstood winds of over 90 miles per hour, and within her bosom still held tightly her inhabitants whom she kept safe. Life was never easy for her, though many people baselessly and slanderously thought it was. She hardly if ever complained about the verbal abuse she suffered even from some of her own people, and those who disowned her because they couldn’t accept her instructions and philosophy on life. Adamantly she stood her ground, and became a well respected and revered woman by all, even by those who hated her. She must have had strong faith in the Supreme Being. People claimed of eavesdropping on her prayers.
She had her own language, for she spoke in a foreign tongue for years, until she embraced the people’s tongue. You see her parents were not from Dominica, but they brought her to the pristine island where she fought to remain. She eventually shared her culture with the people, and by exercising such deep caution slowly embraced aspects of the native culture she found to be compatible with her faith and life concepts.
Her people religiously sought her out to fulfill many basic needs. Some went to her for counseling, others for a source of identity, wanting to meet a need that every human person has; that of belonging to something and or someone. Among her many visitors were nationals, foreigners and history suspects even some dissenters. She united young throbbing hearts for a lifetime, and separated others for eternity; she brought new life, cries and smiles to her community, and even endorsed the names of new inhabitants. She taught children how to read, organized groups for social interaction, took care of the sick, dying and elderly of her community and even acquired foreign help for the island on occasions.
That woman was powerful, though her power was seemingly unseen by those who fought tooth and nail against her efforts. Talk about being vilified. She was judged, condemned, hated and one time when the foundation of her house was shaken by a violent disaster, some vocal men who despised her, rejoiced that her children were left homeless. But guess what? She quietly fought back, rebuilt and openly forgave them.
What a strong woman. Today, she still stands with an age of wisdom surrounded by nature’s love, fed by her children’s devotion and enabling the faith of all whom she encounters. The solitude she extends is still amazing and unimaginable for age has brought more reason to her. Thus, she lives in humble prominence.