As a child I grew up listening to my grandfather’s stories; stories of the “Jab”, stories of a daft and stubborn little girl who was lured by the devil, and stories of monkeys and a foolish boy.
And it’s like he was born to tell stories. He had a way with words; a way of crafting it together beautifully; knowing when to pause for dramatic effect; knowing when to make that special sound that only he could make. My grandfather, ‘Clauzel’ was a remarkable man in my eyes.
And I would want to hear the same stories a million times. And every time, my inquisitive nature would cause me to interrupt his storytelling and ask the same questions; every time.
He would then get annoyed, telling me that I asked too many questions and would ask me whether I wanted to hear the story at all. I can’t help but smile at the thought—these stories were my bakes and cocoa tea.
They made my childhood so special; unique. And every day you’d find me sitting in my grandfather’s balcony, staring happily at his wise eyes and wrinkled face; he was a great man in his youth.
He worked ten times harder than most; he was a respected farmer. Today, he is nearing 90 now, and is still sharp as ever. He is blind, and a little smaller than before, but his sense of humour never disappeared. He loves to listen to his radio, and appreciates when we come over. And we would listen to him talk for minutes, sometimes hours.
And as a child, sometimes I would beg him to tell me stories and he would tell me that he was tired that day. My disappointment was evident; and eventually he would oblige.
These are some of my sweetest memories; they’re neatly stored in my memory banks and I can go back to them every time.
And it’s all those little things, things our grandfathers, great grandfathers and great, great grands did, that contributed to our culture and history being so rich today.
I love being Saint Lucian; I love this Caribbean soil and land that we live in; it’s rich—precious.
And every time Arthur’s ‘West Indian’ comes on, I sing from the heart because it reminds me of how proud I am to be a child of this land.
Enjoy the Creole weekend all! Or I rather, should say, “Bon fete JounenKwéyòl!”