Thanks for Shaping me

A Few years ago while attending a writers conference, where we were grouped off with other writers, who then read, and gave their opinions of our individual piece. After receiving remarkable reviews by all, one person came up to me and said, I love your work, and I love the fact that you wrote so beautifully about your childhood days in St. Thomas, Jamaica.

But maybe it’d be a good idea for you not to let others know that at some point in your life, you bathe in river, climb trees, read by bottle oil lamp, walked barefooted to school, and that your grandmother cooked on a three footed iron pot outside. I asked her why should I hide these facts, and she said, because, people will find it hard to believe that someone from such beginnings can use the english language in such a beautiful way. My answer to her was of course, that’s the wonder of me, because you see, it is that beginning in St. Thomas, Jamaica, that make me what I am today.

I am proud of every tree I climb, every shrimp I cathced with my bare hand, every peas, corn, and yam that I planted. I would not trade St. Thomas, Jamaica for London (where I grew up), For California where I lived for many years, and for New York, where I now I live. Thanks for shaping me, St. Thomas, Jamaica.