wunna wan hear a story?
one day it was afternoon and it was hot. Vv had not eaten and was hungry. She left her grandmother’s house to walk to the village. In the village, a Rasta man sold rice and beans, gluten burgers, and for $4.00 the best homemade juices in the village. passion fruit, sorrel, many many juices fresh.
Vv began to walk through the village. the afternoon sun was so so hot! so vv walk slow, wiping sweat from her face, singing her way as she went.
Baba Legba say vv walking and thought to himself, ‘this child is so sweet, sweeter than the rastas cool passionfruit natural juice on a hot day! sweeter than that! codblaaan i love this child.’
Baba Legba was making his way through the town with his cart of okra, which he harvested from his farm on one of his many many lands. Baba Legba wiped the sweat from his face and smiled so bright that vv had to blink. she turned and turned, and saw the cart, and saw Baba Legba.
“my child, where are you walking on a hot day such as this?” asked baba legba to vv. “my child, why are you walking alone in this sun?” asked baba legba to vv. “my child, so sweet, sweeter than the rastas cool passionfruit natural juice on a hot day! i will walk with you and show you my farm from whence i picked this okra.”
Vv smiled. She recognized Baba Legba and knew it was a blessing that he spoke to her. But Vv was concerned. Walking with gods requires clarity of mind or one may become trapped forever, because orixas and gods need love and worship too, and many of them had courted vv already. she said, “o Baba Legba, you honor me with your presence.” she looked at his okra. “o Baba Legba, the sun is in the middle of the sky and i have not eaten yet for the day.” she looked up slowly and into his eyes, “o Baba Legba, I must walk by the rasta man to eat something to replenish myself, because this hott sun is making vv feel so tired.”
Baba Legba smiled again, even brighter this time.
“My sweet child,” said he, “I will accompany you, for I know this rasta well, and I can share with you the story of my land and my okras and make sure that none cross your path who do not belong, that no harm befalls you.”
Vv was mainly concerned with eating. And decided that if Baba Legba crossed her path at this day, the ancestors must have wished it. So she shrugged and continued walking to the village. She helped Baba Legba carry his cart down the concrete steps, past the frangipani tree, past the waving neighbors, and finally to the shop.
“o Baba Legba! we are too late now!” vv slumped her shoulders. “o Baba Legba! I have only a few dollars and no food and the sun is hot!” vv felt overwhelmed. “o Baba Legba – I have no food and no luck. I do not know what to do next.”
Baba Legba frowned, for he did not like to see vv in such distress.
“Come child,” said he, “you will walk with me and I will find you sustenence.” But VV took a deep breath to hold back tears of frustration. “O Baba Legba, the sun is so hot today. Vv is so hungry, so tired, I do not know how far I can walk.” Secretly to herself VV thought, ‘maybe i will give up and die. maybe i will lie on the road until a lion passes by and eats me up. i am too tired. the sun is too hot. i am thirsty for freshwater and i have so little money.’ she took one deep breath and said, “Oh ancestors who have passed before me – help VV survive another day.”
she stood up.
“o Baba Legba, how far will we go?” she asked her guide.
Baba Legba smiled a smile so full of light and gratitude and love that Vv smiled too.
“oh child, one who is sweeter than the honey used to sweeten oats, sweeter than the taste of the rastas natural passionfruit juice on a hot summer day, my dear, we will walk to the ivy.”
VV was concerned. Vv knew that many spirits and animals roamed the ivy and whenever she went to the jungle she walked alone. Alone VV had met croccodiles, gangsters, gods, ancestors, babies, and many many people, but vv only went to the ivy with one man.
at this point in the story it may be necessary to take a brief moment to explain several details.
Vv was on a journey to understand the whole of mankind, how men became angry, and to steal their magic to deliver to her own children. Vv was going through very treacherous terrain, using her own knowledge and beauty to gain access to virtually any place she pleased. Vv was on a mission of high science, and because of her sweet disposition all manner of birds and beasts allowed her company. all manner of lions and wolves shared with her their stories, and all manner of gods and orixas entertained her company, and to date – none had been able to trap her. but vv knew that walking with Baba Legba to the Ivy would be dangerous.
See, the Ivy was home to many many many various forms of old magic. Normal people from the village never walked to the ivy. When VV returned from the ivy the elders shook their cane “You are a wicked child!” they would say. the men would laugh and say “the ivy is cursed, real ting.” the girls would shake their head and say, “i never walk in the ivy. and it is full of bad men.” but vv would just smile and listen in gratitude for their presence.
the ivy is an ancient corner. a jungle of secrets where many great men have lost their soul and their mind. some men walk into the ivy as great big men, rich or athletic or happy husbands, and when they leave they look gaunt and lanky with dark circles under their eyes.
But every time VV went to the Ivy, her sweet disposition and smile would bring sweet birds and a gentle wind. men came to hear her speak and play games of fate to determine their future. the men would smile and laugh honored that she was not afraid like all the other village people, and vv would smile and eat fresh tamarinds, throwing the shells to the floor. In the Ivy, VV would sit beside Orumila with whom she had become very much in love, and learn the ways of man to carry back to her children. The one who took vv to the ivy first is another great man, but that is a story for another day.
and so, vv was very familiar with the ivy, and was there almost every day, but never before had she come with Baba Legba, and never before had she come so hungry, and never before had she come when the sun was so high, and so vv knew this was a test.
“o Baba Legba,” said VV. “how far in to the ivy will we travel?”
and Baba Legba shook his head and smiled a boastful smile, and turned his cart so his muscles shone in the sunlight, “my sweet child,” said he, “you have nothing to fear when you walk with me!”
and so they began to walk. the walk seemed long. Baba Legba stopped at a corner shop where Nana Buruku was known to make meals on a certain day of the month when the sun was at a certain height and the hearts of women were in a certain bind and so Baba Legba showed vv, but the day was not the day, and they continued walking.
as they arrived at the edge of the ivy vv, lost in her thoughts, stopped to catch herself, and saw a cotton plant growing by a broken down old shack. she remembered how many hours in the hot sun her ancestors worked with no breaks. with a whip at their back. she remembered their hardship and it gave her strength. She smiled in gratitude at the ancestors, and feeling slightly re energized, focused her feet on walking beside Baba Legba.
up the road Baba Legba stopped and pointed out a white and orange building, “my child,” he said, “have you ever eaten at the shop of Ochun?” and Vv smiled so bright that the wood doves began to sing, and shook her head no.
“My child,” said he, leaving his cart on the road, “follow me.”