The way I see it, spontaneity can SOMETIMES be, the spice of life.
I already had my Independence Day celebrations DOWN PACKED.
I originally planned to get to the ET Willet Park early.
After all, a very good friend and mentor of mine, was going to take her first salute as the Ag. Deputy Governor General of Nevis. Add to that, that long serving and hardworking Music Director, par excellence, Joya Clarke, also a friend of mine, was getting a well-deserved award.
I could not miss it for the world!
Or could I?
On the day before Independence Day, the contrary thought of witnessing a similar parade in St. Kitts, took center stage. It is something I had always wanted to do and now I was hearing that the Taiwanese Honour Guard would be on parade.
I got stress trying to make up my mind and then it happened.
I did not even do the ena-mena- mina-mo—thingy.
I just up and caught a boat and headed for St. Kitts that afternoon.
Spent the night and got to Warner Park early to see most of the stands close to the Police Station end, already crowded.
Well, it was an impressive parade.
All of the armed and unarmed bodies showed themselves.
Well I newa!
However, then came the moment of truth. The moment that everyone was anticipating with eagerness.
The Taiwanese Honour Guard took center stage and trust me, those guys showed off and represented their country in style.
I mean the turns; the grace; the dignified approach to the art of marching—throwing guns from one hand to another and then to each other and maintaining straight lines, as if they were eating breakfast.
Well I newa!
And you know, we as a people have a strange sense of analyzing situations and paying compliments.
Right behind me, instead of just complimenting the visitors and leaving it there, I heard comments like:
“You notice none of them have any big belly, like some of our Police?”
‘Well, you know, they don’t eat what they sell you know. They eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and give us the other things…”
‘Well, they had to be good, cause if one of them had drop a gun out there today, that would have been two salaries as penalty for misrepresenting their country.”
And so the chatter went on and on…
My feature of the day however, was not the Prime Minister taking the salute and inspecting the troops; not the Governor General taking the salute; not even the impressive visiting Honour Guard.
It was a little girl who was representing the EXPLORERS contingent, which I understand was a combination of school children and teachers from across the island, who were dressed in a grey uniform with different colour bands, to specify the particular school in focus.
Well, this little girl (sorry I did not get the name), was the absolute example of pride and passion in nationhood.
She snapped smartly to attention when the command was given; she was equally sharp in following the ‘at ease’ command and gracious me, she marched with vim and vigour!
She was the epitome of what is to be a proud citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis and the crowd warmed to her!
I was reminded of that verse in Isaiah:
‘Isaiah 11:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.’
As I watched some people refusing to stand at attention when the national anthem was played, I shook my head sadly and hoped that they would take an example from my little star of the day.
The thought crossed my mind: If we cannot give honour to whom honour is due, before people we can see, small wonder we have no respect for the God of the universe, who we cannot see.
Later that same evening, via video footage which I had prearranged, I was able to see my Deputy Governor General, impeccably attired, take her royal salute and I was also able to see Joya accept her award.
So there-I got the best of both worlds after all!
Just like that little girl, we need to take our oath of allegiance to our federation, with a semblance of passion and pride but even more significantly, we need to honour God with even more fervour and passion.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?