“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
This quotation that has been heard and read around the world symbolizes the journey of the life mission that GOD placed me on. When I took the first step, I had no idea that I was even beginning a journey, I moved because GOD was ready. “Win GAWD git readee, hunnuh hafa moob!”
I moved toward what was the destiny that I have been sent to live out and to carry out on behalf of the Gullah/Geechees of the world. I was moved to begin to speak in the tongue of my ancestors as a means by which to open the spiritual eyes of those who were also ready to move and simply needed to be able to see the direction that they needed to go. Each and every time that direction was for us to come back home. The direction was always toward the coast. The direction was always to the water which GOD would trouble as we would wade within it. To get in it, we had to simply step.
“Stepped in the water and the water was cold. It chilled my body, but not my soul.”
When it was time, our spirits flowed back onto the shore with the tide and would bring us back on land renewed and ready to continue to take more steps on the journey as who webe-Gullah/Geechee anointed people. Along the way, I encountered many that denied being Gullah/Geechee while they said it in Gullah. I encountered those that hung their heads in shame or started to laugh in an unnecessary and uncomfortable manner simply because they heard their mother tongue spoken in public because they were always taught not to speak the language especially in front our outsiders. Many had walked away from where they truly needed to go and now wished that that they could find their way back-home.
As I started the walk, I ended up on a journey onto stages on my home island of St. Helena and slowly as I left the stages, the crowds that gathered around became larger and larger. GOD expanded my territory by directing me to walk into a global arena and onto a global platform and to speak in Gullah/Geechee to wake the people and open the ears, eyes, and spirits of people around the world to the existence of Gullah/Geechee culture and alert them to how they can protect it on those coast where the water is troubled by GOD and the people are moving to come together to remain on their land. Disya da de bless up Sea Islandt sand!
In the late evening of April 1, 1999 in Genevé, Switzerland, I walked out of the United Nations into a world united to help support me in the mission that GOD had placed within me to keep Gullah/Geechee cultural alive and our people on our land. I walked blocks and blocks through a city where no one knew me and where they spoke a language I had not heard before I arrived in this part of the world. I walked out of a room that had filled with a cacophony of languages that had asked me what was the language I speak and what land had I come from from an array of people that encouraged me to continue to fight for my people. I walked out with GOD walking with me and my ancestors’ souls shouting around me, but I still did not realize how many steps I had taken on this journey.
Before that time and up to this moment, I am sure that I have traveled THOUSANDS of miles and not simply 1000. All disya time mi bin da walk een ta who webe. WEBE de anointed Gullah/Geechee!
Over those thousands of miles i have been blessed to look into the eyes of my people and see their souls. I have seen the pain they they endured because someone told them that the way that they spoke and the way that they lived was not good enough because the person was not familiar with it. I have seen the strength that they drew on from their Divine Source within which caused them to “feel like journey on.” I have felt the shoutin within their hearts even if their hands and feet didn’t move when they realized that it was alright to walk on with their Gullah/Geechee heads held high no matter who else did not understand their pride and their journey.
As I would walk away from these folks on the porches and in the buildings and go back on the road of my journey, I slowly started to notice more and more people with me along the way. “Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitudes” so the road is often a lonely one. However, GOD is always there and at different points as we walk, some folks join and take a few steps in syncopation with us until their paths take them other routes. Each time that they are there, I realize that they came along like those that watch a marathon and pass cups of water to the runners and cheer them on. They may not be on the pathway, but they support the journey of the one that is on it. I give thanks for them as I run and walk on. I know that when I do not see them, it is time for endurance training because “the race is not given to the swift, but he or she that endureth until the end.”
I give thanks for the steps that yet lie ahead of me as I approach the next phase of this journey that will take me a thousand more miles letting the world know about the Gullah/Geechee and our efforts to protect our land and our legacy! Tenki Tenki GAWD fa walkin wid mi!