Warning: Lukumi will challenge your mind, your body and your soul. It will require extra effort from you on all levels in order to accomplish your goals. There is no easy way to walk the path.
For Ile events, I told my Madrina I could only make it to one ceremony or another of the Saturday and Sunday events. My Ile is three hours from where I live. I asked her which one would be best for me to attend because I planned on attending and returning promptly home. I have two people in my home, my child and my grandchild, who are both one and two weeks post-operative. I am still managing complications from my son’s surgery to keep him from suffering permanent damage. I have homework in my final course in order to earn my Bachelor’s in Business, a degree I have struggled since 2007 to obtain. My son’s unexpected surgery has even made me unable to purchase the textbook for this course yet, but I keep on pushing. I had some other issues to attend to in my home, and I hate to leave my home until turmoil is settled. I had $20 left to my name and I borrowed that. So I was really intending to come and go and not be a burden to anyone in the process.
Well, guess what Madrina said? She said you need to attend both. Now she did not say it the way I just did and I can not even remember the exact way she stated that text message, but it was the way she said it that really impressed upon me that this was a very important matter. I must attend both. Sure I could have said, “I am sorry but I have got too much going on,” but I knew something was different about this so I made arrangements instead to be there the whole weekend and she helped me to do so.
Saturday was a drumming, and I got to work yet another drumming ceremony as Apetebii. I was still nervous but I know the experience is what I need. I followed my big godsister’s direction as always, and the time we spent was invaluable. I learned so much from her just by being around her. She is such a beautiful blessing in my life. The drumming ended that night, I had more questions, I had answers, I had direction for the next group of things I need to learn, I had directions for better ways of doing things I already do. I was reminded to do some things I said I would do but did not get a chance. I felt so far behind but my brain was stimulated and my heart encouraged. I also was able to see Yeye when She came down. Loving Her quirky, unique, OCD children, like my big godsis, gives me a deeper appreciation and love for Oshun. I was filled with joy to get Her sweet love and gentle touch.
Sunday was the first time I have been able to get to the sea since coming to Texas over 15 years ago. I took it for granted when I lived in New York just a couple of blocks from the beach, not knowing it would be so rare for me to see Her again. She was always my Mother, the one I always went to when happy, when sad, when angry. I turned to Her often throughout my childhood and into my adult life until I foolishly left. Now, once again, I was reunited. I approached Her and forgot how extremely great she was, how vast, and it felt like She stretched out Her arms to greet me. Just before my toes touched the water, my knee hit the ground in respect and awe of the Great Mother of Fishes. When it was time to do offerings, I was able to go to Her as I always did. I took a deep breath in and realized, this is why Madrinas know best.
Madrina always spoke of my ita as a blueprint, but I think what happened was even deeper than that. All those years of readings and the time we spent interacting, all the little incidental things that come up over time, all of that plays a part of them learning us and us learning our Padrinos. Like DNA coding, they are able to read all the things that make up who we are, what our truest needs are, not just on a physical level but on a spiritual level. They are able to tap into our energy and give it power-ups, knowing just what to do at the right time. If you are looking for magic spells, this is the “magic” that happens in Lucumi. This event dug deep and transferred from every cell in my body to my soul. Had I not have listened, if I had made one excuse in my mind, I would have missed my blessings.
I cleaned myself and gave Her my offerings. I prayed and told Her all the things I had been longing to tell Her. With tears streaming down my face I poured out my heart. She instructed me to kneel and I dropped where I stood. She wants me to remember that no matter how numerous my tears I would never overfill Her. There is nothing I could say that would overwhelm Her. She has the capacity to hold all of who I am. No matter who my mother may turn out to be (in Ocha), She travels my path with me always. If I ever feel too far from Her again I am to cry so that the salt of my tears will remind me that She lives within me.
O mio Yemaya. Great Mother of the World. You give me rest in your womb where I can feel safe until I feel strong enough to stand on my own again. I rest my head on your breasts as You shield, love, and protect me. You shift the sand from under my feet so I do not become complacent.