A Christmas Story
Once upon a Christmas time in the islands of The Bahamas the golden emperor, aka ‘he who knows all things’ decided that it was time to fertilize the money trees recently planted by Mr Bamsi in the blue holes of Andros by adding some more rich manure, because his friend Bob had a 100 million dollars of the people’s money to throw away in them (and we all know the blue holes are bottomless!)
Whilst loftily directing his minions to complete this task, he also ordered them to carry him in his golden chariot to the Bamsi money tree fields so that he could pick off another 900 million dollars to use as decoration for NHI to bring in the New Year in a style that was befitting of his stature.
It was of no concern of his that the hundreds of millions spent on the ‘new’ Critical Care Block at PMH were going to waste – after all anything biodegradable made for good manure to add to the bottomless blue holes, and although the structure lay fallow and unused for over a year whilst the ancient crumbling structure was patched and painted for the annual Christmas visit – such was the nature of manure – to generate growth. He would show his ignorant subjects what expensive decorations looked like!
The emperor’s superior decoration plan was formulated whilst he was busy picking from the money tree. He decided that he would use his money tree money to import a direct copy of the foreign carnival – plenty feathers, a bunch of naked ladies shaking and winding up, lots of bling and loud speaker music would dazzle everyone’s senses and have them following behind him just like the Pied Piper – it was brilliant!
The poor people of the settlements had no say in any decisions of the empire. They had to be content with their meager scraps from the golden table whilst being sternly cautioned under penalty of harsh fines and imprisonment to cough up money from their own resources to pay the newly instituted VAT tax because they were strictly forbidden, under threat of death, from going anywhere near Mr Bamsi’s compound, much less to even think about trying to pick money off the money trees – that privilege belonged only to the golden one – their job was to do what they were told and to toil long and hard for the emperor’s pleasure.
However one dark night soon after, as the people were sitting around the settlement fire listening to ‘ol story time’ with the elders, they heard in the distance a strange, but somehow familiar pulsating sound. What could it be? The sound came closer, increasing in tempo and volume, bouncing from tree to tree, reverberating in the air all around them and traveling deep down inside their belly. Without knowing how or why, they began to dance joyfully to the beat, around and around the fire, reveling in the flight of their spirit, and basking in the freedom of their soul.
Suddenly scales flew off their eyes and they saw the world with new eyes. This was a new feeling, this was a revelation, this was a revolutionary connection with the universe which reached out to them through the navel strings of their ancestors – this was the spirit of Junkanoo, a spirit that had been hidden from their sight and buried beneath the mounds of rubbish and toxic waste that had been imported into the land over decades of ignorance and greed in an attempt to squash their very being.
As the people danced, their spirits soared and they became infused with a feeling of renewal, of power and strength. From that day forth they understood their purpose, they became the masters of their own fate, they became the captains of their soul. They were no longer the slaves of the emperor but danced to the rhythm of junkanoo which led them along a path of prosperity and peace.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Caption: Spirit of Junkanoo painting by Brent Malone