Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery


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Making connections, finding roots, healing wounds

Wednesday 19th March 2014

I arrived as my uncle was repairing his saw

I arrived as my uncle was repairing his saw

In the last post Brandon Hill by the scenic route I described the journey to Clarendon. This was not just a tourist outing, but a journey to re-connect with my family, some of whom I’ve not seen since I was eight years old – many of whom I have never met.

This trip was also a response to spirit guidance (mainly my maternal grandmother whom I’ve never met) to come home, as there was a role for me in healing the generational pain in the family.

I arrived tired at my uncle’s house, but was instantly refreshed by his welcome (he didn’t know I was coming). He is the keeper of the family’s history. Imagine my amazement when he pointed to the land next to his house and said ‘that’s the burial ground’.

Graves marked by trees

Graves marked by trees

All I could see was a relatively bare patch of land with a few trees and some stumps. No head-stones, no mounds, no actual graves. Yet he knew the exact location of generations of my family. The first one he took me to was my grandmother’s, the one who had been so insistent that I should return.

He then showed me others; her parents and grandparents burial spots were marked with tree stumps, some looked newly pruned.

Grave marked by tree

Grave marked by tree

He explained the relationships and the feuds which has left a rift within the family and divided loyalties.

I asked ‘Has the land ever been consecrated?’

‘Not that I know of’ he replied, ‘and I’ve been here a long time.’

I had a sense that what was needed was healing and reconciliation. I asked if he’d mind if I said a prayer on the land. Meeting with no objection I agreed to do so the following day as I had no idea what I was supposed to say and to whom, but I trusted that if I slept on it I’d be guided. I couldn’t have been brought this far to be abandoned.

After joyous meetings with my brother and many nieces, nephews and their children I returned the following day to the land.

Me and my cousins

Me and my cousins

The two main protagonists were buried side by side, each with a tree. They were close enough for me to just about hold both and I imagined that I was holding their hands while praying for their hurts to be healed so that they, and the family, can be at peace. As I did so a hummingbird appeared beside me, its feathers a shimmering green as it drank nectar from a nearby tree. It stayed till the prayer was complete. I then walked around the ground speaking to all the others and praying for their peace also.

My brother and I

My brother and I

I’m not sure how this will play out, by I had a sense of personal peace that I had responded to the call and done my bit.

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Brandon Hill via the scenic route

Wednesday 19th March 2014

Stunning views from the road at Casava Pond,St Catherine, Jamaica

Stunning views from the road at Casava Pond,St Catherine, Jamaica

After 2 days on the road going from Kingston to Clarendon and back by public transport, I’m feeling jet-lagged again.

The journey went something like this. Kingston to Spanish Town by bus. Spanish Town to Linstead (yes, of the famous song) and the rest of the way by taxi changing at each stop. This is not taxi as we know it in the UK, it’s more like a bus with five seats, so anyone can get in with you. Linstead to Ewarton,  Ewarton to Kellits, Kellits to Brandon Hill, our final destination. This distance of approximately 39 miles took just over 3 hours. I’m told that without the road block created by residents of Casava Pond in St Catherine,protesting against the lack of piped water, it would have been two and a half hours.

Part of a road block at Casava Pond,St Catherine, Jamaica on Monday 17th March 2014. Residents blocked the road with rocks and trees in protest at lack of piped water. Police helped to clear the block which made national news that night.

Part of a road block at Casava Pond,St Catherine, Jamaica on Monday 17th March 2014. Residents blocked the road with rocks and trees in protest at lack of piped water. Police helped to clear the block which made national news that night.

Without the road block we would still have had to change at each town and the roads would still have been full of pot holes making the journey slow. It wasn’t till we got to Ewarton that it really began to feel like Cameroon. We were already five in the taxi when the driver asked us to make space for another two – plus himself. Yes, four in the front and four in the back. Yes Fred – you are not alone. But we can go one better.

On the way home space was made for us in an already overloaded taxi. When the four of us were squeezed into the front I turned to do a headcount of the back seat. There were five plus the gentleman who was wedged into the boot of the car. Ten in all!!

I was unprepared for that. I was also unprepared for the absolute beauty of the countryside, of the lush river banks, the foliage clad mountains that seem to watch over us like a benevolent uncle, the splashes of colour as the car occasionally picked up speed, and the sweet smell of the air, which even the exhaust fumes could not erase.

Maybe this is best appreciated at a slow pace.


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Hellshire Beach

Sunday 16th March 2014

Hellshire Beach

Hellshire Beach

After the 90 minutes bus and taxi journey to get there I was a little apprehensive to see that we were about to enter Hell – even if it had ‘shire’ tucked on the end.

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If you don’t want to be bothered by loud music (mostly dancehall), don’t like the smell of roasting jerk pork, frying fish and festivals, can’t stand the sight of horses giving rides on the beach like donkeys at Weston-Super-Mare in the UK;

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if you don’t want to be disturbed by beach hawkers selling all kinds of wares from peppered prawns to instant photographs; if you don’t want to hear children laughing, splashing and generally having fun and don’t want to bask in the warm, warm, turquoise Caribbean sea, then it could indeed be hell.

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I’m not a great fan of dancehall music, but found myself trying out some moves in the water. As  floated I suddenly thought, ‘I’m home, no one can ask me to leave.’ Somehow those gently waves made everything all right. If you’re ever on Hellshire Beach I recommend you try the peppered prawns. You don’t get many in a bag, but they are oh so delicious. That’s enough about what I thought. Hoping you enjoy the pictures.

Fishermen selling their catch

Fishermen selling their catch


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The Golden Macca Fat

Sunday 16th March 2014

The Golden Macca Fat – this season’s pantomime at the Little Theatre in Kingston – was for me, not so golden.

The Little Theatre - Kingston

The Little Theatre – Kingston

It pains me to write that I was so disappointed with the production that I fell asleep at several points. I found the story too complicated for a pantomime. There was no central character to focus on, and no one of the nearly 20 strong cast made any real connection with the audience. There was too much screeching by the characters and the dances were too samey.

The Golden Macca Fat

The Golden Macca Fat

Despite the lavish and often beautiful sets, and some lovely touches – such as the street secne, the patoo and ‘poetry’, the performance lacked coherence and any real sense of purpose.

This was so different to the last time I was at the Little Theatre where I was blown away by the production. Hopefully next year will be better.


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Fresh watermelon, sweet pine

Saturday 15th March 2014

Fruit cart in downtown Kingston

Fruit cart in downtown Kingston

Still somewhat jetlagged I went to downtown Kingston to buy fresh fruit and vegetables (trying to support the small people and not just shop in supermarkets).

Dee negotiates on the lettuce

Dee negotiates on the lettuce

I went via uptown Kingston where I waited in long but organised lines to change my money into Jamaican dollars, and to buy a local sim card.

Street vendors in downtown Kingston

Street vendors in downtown Kingston

Downtown Kingston has more in common with Bamenda in Cameroon than it is probably aware of. Bustle, music and street vendors of all kinds. I wanted to take a picture of the one-legged man who weaved in and out of traffic on crutches hoping for donations to his cause, but it seemed inappropriate.

Jamaican bus

Jamaican bus

Got some great deals on naseberries, watermelons, calaloo, and plantains. Yum! Yum!


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Back in the land of wood and water

Thursday 13th March 2014

BA flight 2263 touched down smoothly at Normal Manley International Airport at precisely 16.25, its expected time of arrival to applause and cheer from the predominantly Jamaican passengers.

Back on Jamaican soil with my niece

Back on Jamaican soil with my niece

I felt a small flutter in my stomach and a wave of anticipation washed over me. What would I recognise after 16 years? (In fact when I did the maths properly I realised that it’s actually 17 years since I was last home).

I was pleased my niece recognised me – because, despite the photo she’d sent I didn’t recognise her. We hugged and hugged and hugged some more, and people around us watched and smiled. One man cheered as though he felt the connection I was making with this family member that I had not seen in years.

My niece Dee and her son Nick

My niece Dee and her son Nick

I didn’t care how odd they would consider me as I kneeled and kissed the ground, and spoke silently to my ancestors that I hoped it met with their approval.

After meeting my niece’s son we were swiftly taken into Kingston via the expansive Palisadoes with the sea on our left and the sea defence on our right. I took in the flour mill and concrete factory before heading into the more residential areas. I remembered nothing of what I’ve been told are the significantly changed district of Harbour View and Maxfield Avenue where I once lived as a child of 8 years.

I did however remember the pulsating sounds of the street corner music, and the vibrant colours of the flowers. Yes, I’m home. So much more to rediscover.