A few more days remaining before I utter the words I do. I am learning to cherish the time spent during my engagement. Life is so tricky, where will any of us be a year from now? Dead or alive? No one knows what the future holds.
We lost Aunt Eunice this week. Nana was reunited with her longtime best friend. I recall staring into both of their lifeless faces during Ghusl Mayyit and Kafan as we prepare them for Janazah. They are beautiful, ancient faces of the women we are. They are honorable.
I will never forget them. I see them in me. Sweet, humble, and kind. Life repeats. We are nothing more than replicas of the mysterious past of our ancestors. I am in them, and they are in me. Long live the queens.
They help me understand the woman I am now and the one I am becoming. Our clothes don’t make us who we are. Nor jewelry or makeup. It is our thoughts and actions and how we treat one another. How we love. I understand the culture and traditions of my ancestors both African and native Americans.
Marriage used to represent the transition of a girl to a woman. The giving of oneself to her husband. A rite of passage. This engagement is sort of like that as well. You have to fix what is broken before you engage in your future. Marriage isn’t for the faint at heart. I seen African rites of passage videos where the woman is broken down days before. According to one online article, “The five rites are birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership, and ancestorship. A rite is a fundamental act (or set of rituals) performed according to prescribed social rules and customs. Each of these rites are a key component that are a part of traditional African cultures.”
Accordingly “[…] the Maasai ‘believe that the male or female youngster who undergoes the agony of such an ordeal with courage will be able to endure the challenges of life and uphold the proud reputation of the Maasai people.” In an age of entitlement, younger generations are reluctant to go through such a transition or transformation.