They’re coming for the remnants of the land she left for her children and grans again. My grandmother’s land in Barbados: the indigenous Kalinago one who helped raised me as a girl – Monica Soden who everybody called ‘Mum.” Her roots trace from Barbados to Grenada to Salybia (Kalinago Territory), Dominica and ultimately Africa.
From since she passed, one by one deeds and documents to 24-25 plots of agricultural land went missing, and those lots dwindled to 2 four-acre ones that apparently “they” who run the country now intend to seize. Doh mind grands in land tax have been paid faithfully annually and applications to have it transferred from agricultural to residential constantly refused. On what grounds? Well its “value” would go from thousands to millions because of its location – ‘The Gold Coast.’
That status transfer would also make it eligible for sub-division, so who chooses to sell could sell their part and who wants to build (me) could build.
The things some people do for land over in these lands would make the hair on your neck stand up. Once upon a time relatives planted & harvested peppers and a few years ago “they” halted all possibilities of planting and building (but still betta pay dem land taxes.)
Offers to buy kept rolling in, but how – why – if nothing can be done on the land til they change the tide again?
As a man at the planning place said with a shrug and a smile, “You know how it is ’bout hey; different strokes fuh different folks.” I had asked how the former squatter nearby got permission to be doing extensions while we ’bout hey asking fuh permission to build pun we own land. Been renting my whole life while this promised land sits there, unable to plant – not permitted to build, just for relatives to pay ‘”to own” yearly…til now when they announce they’re coming for it again. How and why? Cause nothing’s been done on your same land dem prevent yuh building pun. To “them” you have no power or affluence to influence and your land is worth more than you are.
I was born here and so was my gran, the Kalinago one who once had a dream to leave land for her children and grans. A loving homemaker married to a hard-to-get-to-know banker, my step grandfather.
The things some people do for land over in these lands could break a heart, stir up a storm or step on a spiteful big toe. Claims and tug-o-wars over patches of grass, cubes of cement and a ‘piece o de rock’ can stir up strife, rage, strategic long-game attacks and “unsolved mysteries” of epic proportions but nothing’s new under the sun. My dad’s long-gone so that’s one already down and the ones who remain still holding on.
As a home gardener, having access to land to freely plant and grow food on is more than an aspiration; it’s a dream I pray will still come to fruition whether in this homeland or another welcoming one.
Despite this atrocity, I want to walk humbly covered by the Highest Who is never surprised by the frantic antics of the lowest. He restores, redeems and provides even when they try to change the rules and tide. While some rights are selectively dished out; some rights are strategically taken from others. A couple lessons learned over time are “doh expect a conscience to be where a conscience ain’t” and mankind often wrestles over things none of us can take when we leave. The right to do wrong is the way of this fallen world. But true power comes from above – from the most High above all.
“Touch not mine anointed…” Yah sees, knows and doh sleep. Despite the corroded cogs of the system turned by cunning hands with greedy intentions for generations, I still cherish the beautiful lands of this little “island in the sun.” Guide n’ protect I, most High. Keep me meek, humble, strong, singing sweet songs of freedom, enduring forever walking in Your blessing trusting that what is for me will be.
In this world but not of it.
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“The Things Some People Do For Land In This Land | Indigenous Rights & My Grandmother’s Land Legacy” – itsjoywithin.com