Basho’s story tells of a journey to find enlightenment, and peace within ones self.
Throughout his journey he travels paths that connect him to his spirituality and ancestry. Although the grounds he covered have been visited before and lingers with the scent of history and folklore, it seems as though Basho manages to leave behind as much as he took from his jouney.
Although I was born in the U.S., My mother and father are from a small country in the Caribbean call Grenada. As a little girl every summer my mother would send me to the island of Grenada in an effort to introduce me to the land of my fore fathers and give me a sense of where she was raised and the routes she took daily in order to provide a life for me.
Just as Basho found enlightenment and spirituality on his journey, so did I. Every morning before the cocks could crow, I would rise with my family and honor the way of the land. We would have breakfast together (a tradition that has gotten lost in America) which consisted of pure coco tea from the coco trees outback. Then I would complete as many chores as an American girl my age can handle. I loved watching my grandmother and cousins wash clothes by hand down by the river. I didn’t have the strength they had but I learned the value of work and the things I take for granted in my everyday life.
While my cousins were away in school I would walk miles into the mountains with my uncles, we hopped stones across rivers and waterfalls to get to the gardens. Once there we picked all kinds of fruit and nutmeg to bring back home. My Grandmother and I would then pack the fruit and peel the mace off of the nutmeg to sell in the market. By the afternoon my cousins would return and show me what childhood was like for my mother. We walked everywhere, visited family, Swam in the sea, Caught craw fish for dinner, and even though my grandmothers house had indoor plumbing by this time, I bathed in the river before nightfall.
I remember talking to my mother one day, she was telling me a story of the road she took to school every morning. Instead of walking the paved road, she would take a the short cut through the mountains and pick fruit on the way there. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride because I too have walked the same road, for a different purpose.