Every time that I look at this photo above of little Leah Lammy, I have been arrested inevitably by something that she communicates with that expression in her eyes, her smile and her body language. Although she is only a child, there is a maturity in the way in which she has folded her arms to look directly at us. Have you seen it also? I am always left with the impression that Leah has assessed me, has measured me from head to toe and is now calmly, and without any rancour, awaiting my response, challenging me, with something that suggests the amusement of the infinitely wise, to do something, anything, to prove her wrong.
Day before yesterday, yet another of our children went missing. I believe that it is their desperate need to believe that there will be a happy ending that is making the police class this disappearance as a "possible" abduction. I stand firmly with them in their optimism but I want those on the ground to act like raging pessimists in the urgency with which this latest assault is addressed.
Daniel Guerra is eight years old, just like Leah was when she was kidnapped a little over two years ago. Daniel disappeared, like Tecia Henry and Marina Henry, while running an errand, something it seems that no child in this country should henceforth be allowed to do unless accompanied by an adult. As I read about this case, I was thinking of the blow that must have struck Daniel's family and then rippled outwards through all the families in Trinidad and Tobago that have experienced and are still experiencing what Daniel Guerra's family is now going through. I am trying to imagine what Daniel is experiencing. I am thinking about what all the victims went through. It is understandable that many of us want to turn away from this suffering.
While we understand that suffering is part of life, this particular suffering is completely avoidable because it is brought on deliberately by the pure wickedness of some of our brothers and sisters. It is infinitely worse than anything that nature could throw at us.
Life is good. Do not for one second lose sight of that. It is what we human beings make of it that is often beyond comprehension.
Forgive me if I am rambling but there are many thoughts running through my mind and for some reason, I do not want to take the time to organise them before writing.
Last night I fell asleep thinking about Daniel. I could not say for certain that he is lost to us or that it is all a big misunderstanding and he is safe somewhere with people who actually feel that they are doing what is best for him, but I lay awake seeing Gasparillo in my mind on the map and wishing that I could follow him wherever he was being taken. I was as overwhelmed as those who are now searching for him.
Trinidad, as tiny as it is, is not as tiny as a little child in the company of the wicked. Where in the world could he be by now? To the west and to the south are exit points to Venezuela and where else after that? I could only pray that someone among that crew would be a hero and decide to do the right thing. As soon as I got up this morning, I ran to the Internet to see if he had been found. I wondered if his family slept last night.
And Leah's expression continues to haunt me.
I look at her face. She is above all the madness. She is not asking, "When will you find me?" She is saying, "When will you people find yourselves?"
"Me Today, You Tomorrow" - By Shadow. See lyrics.
Great Spirit, bless Leah and Daniel and all our missing persons wherever they may be.
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.
Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.
Mweh ka allay!