i had made a vow early this morning...." to enjoy christmas at home with my kids" instead of thinking of my relatives gathered in Nukuni & at Lomanikoro. Ever since my son offered (on monday) to pay my airfare to fiji, my mind had already settled itself at tabarua laughing with everyone and at everything. my feet had walked the newly laid footpath & reveled at the most familiar feel of squishy sodden rich black earth. my eyes had watched the arrival & the embraces between the many relatives who had not spend christmas together in many years. i was there walking through the newly built family homes, admiring the newly planted vegetation, flower gardens & listening to the retelling of family history. my heart was bursting with family pride but most of all i was so happy knowing that all those who have left us are smiling, grateful & pleased that the family is having it's first big christmas gettogether again.....in the family compound.
my ears also heard the happiness in the voices drifting from the church separating the two villages of nukuni & (i believe) lovoni. i even followed the only path i remember through a grove of coconut from the village to the family compound in vasara & sat under the big tree by the house overlooking the lagoon. everywhere relatives were embracing each other while children darted amongst the adults. i saw the preparation of soloi, the young scraping coconut & ivi into long wooden bowls.
past family christmas gathering in suva, when my father & all his siblings were alive... all came rushing back.
i am so happy i was there this time.... even if only for a brief moment....even if it was only in my mind.....i was there!!!
now i must get ready to accompany my son & niece to finish our grocery shopping.
wishing all my relatives in nukuni, ono-i-lau and in lomanikoro, rewa a very blessed christmas!
loloma bibi to each of you!