Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Through the Eyes of a Third World Girl - Part 1

     “I'm a third world girl living in a first world nation...” is blasting in the car. Never has a song seemed more fitting for me than that one, and I have never even been to Jamaica yet and I definitely didn't grow up with Reggae music.

     How can one person have an instant connection with someone they have never met?

I have asked myself that question more times than I can remember.

     How come we had that instant connection with a Kenyan married to a Canadian? How did they become instant family to us? Why do we feel most comfortable when we're around them? We've never even been to Kenya.

     Why do we connect instantly with South Africans, and how come they can understand part of our Plautdietsch and we often know what they're saying in Afrikaans? You guessed it – no, we've never been to South Africa either.

     How come some of my very best friends are Dutch? Okay, I do have ancestors who originally came from Holland, but I certainly have never been there.

     A lot of us believe in spiritual DNA, our divinely embedded design for spiritual identity and function. But have you ever given any thought to cultural DNA, or maybe even Third World or First World DNA? (It's a thought.)

     I'm a third world girl from a half desert region with long droughts, heavy rains piled up in a short time period, two seasons a year and too much dust (sand), living in a first world nation with a lot of rain, cold winters with snow, and FOUR seasons.

     When others look forward to a couple of months of summer, hot sun, and less rain, I dread the feeling of the hot sun on my skin, on my windows...although I do love the ocean in the summer. I am thankful for air conditioning, which I didn't have growing up. When temperatures went close to 50 degrees Celsius, we had fans and prayed for a little bit of cooling wind.

     When others dread fall coming too soon, I get overly excited for colorful trees, crunchy leaves and cold brisk air. I prepare more for fall than any other season. I only met fall in 1990, I fell in love and never looked back. I take most of my pictures of fall and we've been on many long wonderful walks together.

     I am not partial to fall, though. I love winter, too. (Fall doesn't mind.) Snow and I only met in 1990 as well. And boy, did we hit it off. I will never forget my first snow angel, my first very crooked snowman, the first snowfall when I couldn't help but stay outside and let it all fall on me. I love the cold, but not when I can't sleep because of it. I am thankful for heating, for hot chocolate and lots of coffee, for walks in the crisp cold air, for hot soups and a family who loves soup just as much as I do.

     I like spring, because all the flowers remind me of my Mother who used to work so very hard to keep plants and flowers growing at home. She was a desert Mrs. Greenthumbs. Every spring when the flowers bloom I show them to her (in my mind), I take pictures of them, I hear her admire them and in my head we talk flowers. I remember the time she came to visit and we took her to Butchart Gardens, how she could've stayed there “forever”, in awe of the vast amount of colors and sizes and kinds, because she as well was a third world girl in a first world nation, and we needn't say a word in order to understand each other in that grand sea of colors.

     My heart rejoices every time it rains in wet BC, because my heart remembers the feeling of the sand hitting my legs and my face on the way back from school. I don't have to close my eyes to feel the sand in them, in my ears, between my teeth, and everywhere else.

     My heart also jumps joyfully with every thunder I hear. I remember that thunder usually means rain, and rain at the right time means a good harvest. When you pray for rain for months on end, you run out at the first drops and you dance in the rain (provided the lightning and thunder isn't too close). I do like thunder and lightning. It's an exciting display of nature.

     And this is all mostly just the weather. There is so much more...

“Don't forget where you're from. Never forget where you're from....”

Avion Blackman - Third World Girl