Still I Sing

I remember the days when ‘uptown’ shopping meant walking freely from one store to the next and never encountering pushy beggars or seriously insane folk.

When you could feel the wind on your face and never rush to take cover from a cyclone of flying debris.

I remember the days when the aroma of an ‘uptown’ bus stop was sun-hitting-clean-concrete-earthy rather than one of marijuana smoke and inexplicably foul urine from kidneys under siege.

I remember when sidewalks were just sidewalks, instead of ad hoc marketplaces carpeted by litter, and the sight of a patrol car inspired a shrug instead of the jarring notes of squeaky carts and stampeding humans that signal illegal vendors in full flight…

I remember.

Those were the days of glass and paper when normal rainfall produced no murky flood because drains were not clogged with plastic.

The days when a hearty “Good morning” earned you smiles instead of strange looks and life was good enough that folk would actually return the greeting, throwing in an “How are you?” for good measure.

I remember… a different era.

Intense sorrow was my lot after a recent trip to the commercial area of St. Andrew. From the things that I would like to ‘un-see’ to the excessive and unpleasant olfactory stimulation.

What can I say? The whole creation groans.

On my return home, I washed my body multiple times, exfoliated my skin, drank activated charcoal and brushed my teeth, but there remained a sick feeling in my gut that no amount of activated charcoal could eradicate. It remained because it had nothing to do with how dirty I felt, and no amount of soapy lather or charcoal would (or could) make it right.

I was grieving.

My Jamaica was changing before my eyes, and when our son sings the national anthem, ‘Jamaica: Land We Love’, he knows a different love. His heart knows nothing of an abundance of safe streets, regularly-swept pavements and well-mannered children, or the once-in-a-blue-moon sighting of insane folk.


Source: Pixabay

But we sing. And we sing together:

The National Anthem of Jamaica

Eternal Father bless our land,
Guard us with Thy Mighty Hand,
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours.
To our Leaders, Great Defender,
Grant true wisdom from above.
Justice, Truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, Land we love.
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love.


Click to listen

Teach us true respect for all,
Stir response to duty’s call, strengthen us the weak to cherish,
Give us vision lest we perish.
Knowledge send us Heavenly Father,
Grant true wisdom from above.
Justice, Truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love.
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love.

May the Creator God of heaven and earth continue to uphold us as we seek to fulfil our vow (scroll down) while we wait expectantly for Him.

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