The night wind rustling through his long black dreadlocks as we sat on side of the riverbank the moonlight illuminating his every feature. His eyes were deep brown like his skin; his beard was short yet wild and uncut untouched by anything deemed unnatural he knew not the meaning of the word comb or shave. “Come JAH Wise “he said as his deep voice vibrated in my bones “the village is waiting for us”. Horse Mouth this man was called he had been my Spiritual guide, teacher and brother and he led us up the hillside and down into the valley where the wooden homes of our kin lived, the very walls of each house harvested and decorated from the great trees we lived under. As we walked into the village we were greeted by the sounds of drums, Nyabinghi chanting and grinning faces of the men of the village. These men were the most organized people of Rastafari one of the top three mansions and while many of our people rejected organized religion they found peace in the African tradition of drum circles and herb smoke called Reasonings. Today was my coming of age ceremony; this was the beginning of my adult life physically and spiritually.
I was pulled from Horse mouth and Amharic symbols were drawn onto my arms and back with blue sapphire ore paint and carved bone rings were placed in my hair. With the preparations finished the eldest of the men stood up to bless the Chalice holding the boom draw of herb in its stone bowl and the rich coconut water in its belly. This boom draw of herb was different from many others this handful was grown deep in the jungle fed by moonlight and given drink from the fresh rainwater that pooled in the basin like leaves of the palm trees. After our prayers were finished a burning branch was brought forward and was held to the bowl of sensimilla and the coconut rumbled as smoke filled its water laden belly and was sucked out of the bamboo reed into the bearded lips of the elder. The chalice slowly passed around and when it finally entered my hands I took a big breath before putting my own lips to the reed, as milky white smoke filled my mouth and lungs my eyes were opened. I felt stronger, smarter, and surer of myself my every movement in-tune with my heart beat and the heartbeat of the Jamaican jungle around me. Horse Mouth in a flash of flame stood before me, no more my teacher but my guide once again. “Look to the east JAH Wise to the land of Africa InI ancestors hail from that land you know of this already you have seen in this time the wickedness of Babylon as the BUMBACLOT white man come and go and leave the youth dem hungry in the streets” Horse Mouth preached voice raising as he cursed the British that enslaved the Islands for years taking its resources and causing widespread poverty . “Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia Lion of Judah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords is InI answer to this downpression me can’t answer hate with hate JAH Wise but hate with LOVE!! His stomach bouncing as a mirthful laugh shook his body. “Yes me bredren but where is his Majesty now? Me heard the white man dem talk bout his death” I answered back I had been raised to know the king in spirit but what of his body did the man live or not? “JAH no dead! Man of little faith we of this village know this better than any how can Jehovah the god of Israel the black people die? Jah lives forIver you will learn this tonight” Horse mouth proclaimed as we left the circle the procession of men following us deeper into the mountains until we reached a cliff.
Below us the waves of the ocean crashed against the black rock white foam sloshing back into the sea. Horse Mouth looked into my eyes placing both hands on my shoulder “Soon come is the Lion of Judah do not leave this cliff until he has shown himself to you” and with that Horse Mouth and men of the village walked back down the mountain leaving me alone on the edge of the mighty cliff. When I looked out across the sea I brought my eyes upward and witnessed the moon and stars in a glory I had never witnessed before .The stars seemed to dance around the moon as she sang a haunting melody, one of the beauties and horrors that have and were to be under her soft glow. Tears fell from my eyes as her song struck silver threads in my soul. At that moment I would have broken if not for the arm around my shoulder that seemed to end the celestial miracle and when I raised my eyes to look toward the kind soul my breath stuck in my chest. Next to me was the most beautiful women I had ever laid eyes on her skin like cast bronze her lips alight with moon glow her eyes deep blue like the waters below and her white dreadlocks like that of a old women but pure as milk her amble bosom was hidden by a glowing white dress and even sitting she was four heads taller than me. “Do not weep my child I sang not to drive you to tears but to ease your heart. You see.. .’ The woman spread her arm out sweeping around the island. “This Island is that of my father the one who created my brother sun and my children the stars do you doubt your faith child?’ I could not speak a word until she asked me that question “ I-II-I just don’t know anymore the radios dem tell I all kinds of things and how can the Christ of the bible be the same man I know as Rastafari?” The woman’s laughter filled my ears like a waterfall fills a river. “The greatest resurrection is spiritually remember that my child.” And with that she was gone and the full moon looked upon me as a reminder of what had just happened.
That night I slept under the stars dreaming of their little dance I had witnessed. As daylight struck my eyes I rose from the ground only to hear the rumbling of my stomach, I needed to eat. As I began to leave the cliff in search of food I heard rustling in the bush and I froze in my tracks. This could be a wolf, a jackal or JAH forbid a panther. The jungle opened up revealing a lion mighty and tall as its matted fur shown gold in the sunlight. My heart pounded in my chest, I was dead. Soon the blood in my veins would fill the mouth of the king of beasts and any doubt of who my god was gone. The claws did not come nor did the fangs but a roar the likes of which shook the stones of the cliff free to tumble into the sea.” Only now do you believe in that which your life belongs to.” Came the words of the lion. “The scepter shall NOT depart from Judah said the lord your god yet even after my daughter appears to you in a vision you heed her not.” The lions voice boomed deep with irritation and slowly the lion faded no morphed into a man, a man I could not mistake for all my life was worth I saw his face since my birth. “Haile Selassie I” I whispered in disbelief. “The very same” The lion had gone but the voice remained every word like thunder. His Majesty came not in robes of gold as I had seen in pictures or paintings, His crown was strangely absent but instead he wore the robes of a scholar golden crosses on both sides of his chest and his skin was amber, light skinned as the people of Ethiopia were known to be. His beard unlike Horse Mouth was well groomed and neat even the hair upon his head was well managed. Noticing the way I looked at his hair he answered. ”It is not about the dreadlocks on your head but the dreadlocks inside your heart my son that mean everything something that you seem to have misplaced” the mention of my disbelief brought me to my knees and once again I wept. “ Do not weep in the face of rebuke but rise to accountability never once have I had to perform two miracles in order to bring one of your people to faith in your disbelief you show weakness yet strength in the fact that you take your soul into your own hands and do not conform to beliefs handed to you .” The king moved my dreadlocks out of my face and bore my forehead to his sight then kissed it gently as a father would. “You have the blessing of the Levite my child do not doubt the lord your god again for the things you have witnessed are real. With that like the woman he was gone and my eyes closed as I collapsed onto the ground sinking into sweet unconsciousness.
If you enjoyed the story or it brought up a topic you would like to discuss let Iman know and this is Oluseyi I&I lost my other account