SHAMBA YA MSAMBWA: GARDEN OF DE SPIRITS
…To get to de soul of Orisa, we begin wid de egun, de wahenga, ancestors. [Not only,] De Yoruba [abanyore, bukusu, chokwe, Dagara, kikuyu, luo, shona, na swahili] believe that de spirits of our wahenga walk among us. Having shed physical form, they continue to function on Earth as powahful forces that bring healing en good to de living. De Yoruba [en other spiritual traditions] also believe that de living give longevity to de dead. We keep them alive
through our memories of them, en their energies en energetic imprints on our souls shape who we are and how we live our lives. The living en de dead are inextricably woven together in a sacred tapestry of interrelatedness. We exist in different places on de same continuum. We belong to a single hadithi….
Orisa teachings say that de nearest resolution to any problem resides with de spirits of your bloodline…Any elder you choose to learn from will start you on de path of Orisa by first making sure your feet are firmly planted in de soil of de wahenga. Working in de ancestral shamba will become fundamental to your daily maisha en will provide de foundashun upon which you learn to breathe with God.
In order to know de deities, you must first know yourself, which involves knowing intimately en paying homage to your roots, your origins, de egun.
Cultivating a soulful connecshun with wahenga requires our full commitment, focused attention, hard work, en consistent care. As we do de daily, often heart-wrenching en back-breaking kazi (work) of turning over, seeding, weeding en tending de ancestral shamba, de
rhythms of our lives start to badilika (change). When we learn to share our existence with a palpable en wise spiritual presence, our relationship with de wahenga becomes a sheltering arm that protects us when we are vulnerable, embraces us when we are lonely; en carries us when we are too weak to walk alone.
Gradually we learn how to give our plot de right balance of mwangaza na maji (light en wota) en how to protect it from de spiritual predators of fear and soulless ritual. We develop de ability to work gently through difficult feelings about those wahenga whose actions when alive caused harm to us or our loved ones. We (re)discover spiritual resources for tending to de unmourned losses en unhealed rages within our family histories, those tangled vines that live alongside de succulent vegetation in all lineages. With kazi en time, we find ourselves in an abundant shamba overflowing wid sweet fruit to sustain us on our journeys en strengthened by de vital roots out of which our existence has sprung.
It takes years to grow a lush ancestral shamba, to discover which fruits grow well beside which vegetables, which rituals en practices will strengthen your bond with de wahenga. It takes continual practice to discern which parts of your plot are loamy, sandy, clay en rocky en how best to enrich each. You’ll need certain tools, materials, en basic informashun.
I share these werds with you, as one of mi elders gave me dis kitabu, as I sit at the knees of wazee wenye busara sharing ukweli na ustadi, as de elder that wrote dis book, Mama Tobe Melora Correal, was given dis knowledge en wisdom by her elders, en as she (en we) learned to work with them in caring for her (en our) own shamba ya msambwa (garden of the spirits). Make them your own en work with them as your moyo (heart) tells you. Ase….