I do not consider myself homeless. I could not find Peace anywhere else, so I moved back to nature and I am at Peace here. The elements watch over me. And in return I give back. The old owl alerts me to danger. And when it was drowning, I saved its life.
You have to give something back. Otherwise, it doesn’t work. If you ever want Peace, you have to find it in yourself and then being willing to do whatever it takes, to give Peace away. – Psy Phi, a homeless Native American
DAY ONE: NATIVE AMERICA
PRESENTING NADINE JORDAN, SACRAMENTO
“1855 a cool night, she moves swiftly, following the road marks of the Underground Railroad, freedom is ahead. The promise of a new life, but she is afraid and a lone. The darkness crushing her tightly, only the light of the moon shining on her path. As the journey continued, she starts to feel the excitement. Will life be different in her new home of Nova Scotia, Canada? She is close, she keeps moving, her peace is coming and she feels it in her bones. My grandmother of many greats, was a runaway slave.”
Life, a mystical journey on roads that were never seen soon enough, on roads that will always be of someone’s sacrifice. A unique circle of life that was not supposed to happen or was it? Did my grandmother of many greats know that one day, a way would be found, to find her blood back in a place that did not give her peace? She risked her life to be free… but yet…I am here. Back to the land that cursed her heritage, that only needed her physical strength to gain riches off her back and become prosperous. She must be turning in her grave…but yet…I am here. Not the south, but the west. Maybe life will be different for me.
It is 1973 and as I watch from the back seat of the car, the density of the trees that line the freeway fly by before me. The beautiful greens and the deep dark richness of the land move me. Did my grandmother of greats see this? Was she moving too quickly searching for safety and never looked up? As I look at the closeness of the trees I see her in my mind, stepping out peering through the trees, looking for someone to snatch her back to the place she is escaping from with the look of fright and determination. My grandmother of many greats, my warrior of freedom, seeks the joy of peace in her heart on the dark, welcoming road to Canada. I am looking at those tall trees, standing like lifeguards for those who have come before my grandmother of many greats. I think the trees are trying to make me feel safe as they whisper back and forth, singing to me and telling me, it’s going to be all right. I feel the transition of my life move deep in me.
Will it be all right for this young brown girl? This young brown girl who knows nothing of this land except for the fact that my grandmother of many greats, ran from this place for a new life. Canada is being left behind and America is coming close. I feel the warmth of my tears on my cheeks while I softly weep. I have apprehension of this new place and it is weighing me down. We cross the border and Canada is disappearing behind me, becoming a place of my past. “Oh Canada! Our home and native land. True patriot love in all thy sons command.”
Canada, my home, and where everything I know of as child is escaping me. I feel the dread of leaving a life of peace to be where I am not supposed to be… but yet…I am here. My mother, a beautiful cream woman, sees my tears, but does not say anything, but I see her tears too and I wonder again why we had to leave. Would my grandmother of many greats approve of this…she has got to be turning in her grave maybe that is the reason for my mother’s tears? My father, a beautiful brown man, was born in America. He fought for his county in the Air Force; he believes it is time for us to come home. He sees the worry and tears; he knows the reasons,
but stays silent. He pulls my mother close to him, I see this and I must believe, I have to believe, this is all for a reason. I am only 12, a young brown girl coming back to a place my grandmother of greats ran from and now I am here.
Many years have passed and I still remember the day we arrived in the United States. I have since learned more about my grandmother of greats and the journey that set her forth to her new country. I smile, as I think if she is really turning in her grave, upset that we found our way back to a place that did not love her, where her peace was planted in the day she decided to run. The country is different from the one she left; I have met many people who have made my journey one of no regret. My children have been born here and I feel my soul is now a part of this country. I have learned a lot of about my past, which has brought me to my present. My baby sister, she has gone back to the south, Savannah GA, the place where my grandmother of greats ran away from, we have come full circle. I no longer believe she is turning in her grave, but rejoicing that we made it home. She is at peace and so am I, and I am glad I am here, a place I now call home. Land of the free and home of the brave.
AUG 2 * DAY TWO: A FATHER’S ROLE IN PEACE