land of wood and water
There is magic in the places that we call “home.” Often we brush aside familiarity, and we become disinterested in our norms—totally neglecting that this is where beauty and magic can exist. This summer, I visited Jamaica for the first time since my youth, and while the visit was brief, the impact was everlasting.
Growing up as a child of immigrants calls for a bit of assimilation. There is one “world” inside of your home and another outside. You become a hybrid of these things—sometimes trying to push away one world completely because it does not align with what you are met with outside. Although you aren’t familiar with the physicality of one world, your parents’ world, it still feels very much a part of you. It is in your spirit. It is in the food, the music, and the household’s common tongue. It is in the discipline, the routine, and the expectations. You are Jamaica. You are America. You are The South. You are three different identities mashed into one.
You must not be quiet about your inside world, and you never hesitate to show it to your outside world. You are prideful about a place that you have never inhibited but has always lived inside of you. That is Jamaica’s magic.