Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Frame of Reference

As I sat surrounded by members of my immediate family, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I couldn't help but think how things have changed over the years. Much has changed. And yet, so little has.

There's a line in the "Sunscreen Song" as it's popularly called, that says, "The older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young." I've loved that "song" (speech set to music, really) since it was released in the late nineties. That line, as so many others in it, rings wise.

Amidst the older folk, I thought back to my early years. Who would've thunk it? A little girl growing up in the hills of upper Clarendon in Jamaica; life taking the curves and turns it has; situations and circumstances playing out as they have, would be where she is today! The Lord has ordered my - our - steps to the present moment. So far, what a ride!

Life now is far different from those early years. But, the principles and legacy of values from those who've gone before, still stand. Whenever we get together, there are bound to be comparisons between generations as to features that bear a striking likeness - whether they be physical features or mannerisms or the way we walk or the inflections in talk. It's usually fun. They make it entertaining.

I realize I'm being vague. It's on purpose. I don't want to make this post about a series of family events. That'd be TMI. :-) Simply wanted to share that it's nice to stop and think, now and then, about where we're coming from and appreciate how far we have come. Sometimes we beat ourselves up because we haven't yet achieved this or done that. The truth is, every day is a struggle. And we're all - well, most of us, I'm wont to think - trying to make the best of it. Pretty sure we'd nod in agreement that we've come a long way and we're doing well. The late Professor Rex Nettleford once said, "We must have a frame of reference upon which to plot the new things that are upon us." How true. Those moments when we pause to reflect on our early years will help give us perspective.

The past few weeks have also given me an opportunity to serve. It's a blessing to be called upon to perform in a care-giving role; to be needed in that way and to carry out that function well. God has given me that strength and ability and it is an honour to be used in that way. As one aunt said today, "I get the feeling she enjoys doing it, you know!" I nodded in agreement, "Yes, I do, actually!" Someone once prayed for me that every thing I put my hands to will be blessed. His prayer continues to be answered in the affirmative.

What's that Bob Marley quote? "If my life a fi mi alone, mi nuh want it."


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