Finding Africa in Minnesota

I have always had some nervousness about not being able to fulfill some of what appears to be sterotypes in the Black community. Black people are suppose to have rhythm, be able to dance and drum. I can’t really do either and this has always created a lot of pressure on me. And then came Yemaya; oh boy.

I have always held myself back from picking up a drum and jammin, even though I know this is one of the preferred ways of working with Yemaya, through the sound of music. This fear of not being able to do it, not knowing how and being afraid of how that might translate to others was debilitating and it stopped me from even trying. I have never participated in a drum circle or even tried to drum. After a guided meditation where I connected with the all mother, it became clear that I need to let go and allow myself to move outside of my comfort and connect with Yemaya in other ways.

And then came a new friend, Nels Linde from Hawk Studios, who took me to grab a drum and come to drum class. And I did. The rhythmic vibrations were exhilarating and overwhelming to the senses. I was drumming and it was a miraculous feeling that was full of excitement and disbelief. I have put it off for so long and could not believe that I was moving beyond that fear finally.

What I realized in the days to come was that I had learned so much from myself in the process of picking up a drum and pounding out my desires with my hand on the leather top. I was not only a daughter of Yemaya but I was also the embodiment of what it means to be a Black woman here on earth. It didn’t matter if I had the perfect rhythm or if I was the best drummer. It didn’t even matter if I was super experienced or had no experience at all. In the end it was me, my drum, with my friends, celebrating divinity in the middle of the Oak Grove in Minnesota. MINNESOTA!!! I found Africa in Minnesota, in the middle of a festival, with mostly non-ethnic people.

It just shows that you can find the Gods everywhere, you can connect with pieces of yourself no matter how stubborn or scared you are and you will find the answers in the most unlikely places. Thank the Gods for this lesson and for those who helped me learn it.

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