I was born in Mandeville, Jamaica in 1967, the beginning of a turbulent time in Jamaica's history. The island had just gained independence from Britain with the colonial class and color divisions still firmly in place. The economy was in free fall as communism and capitalism battled for supremacy, by destabilizing the government, encouraging violence and exerting tactical financial control. I came of age during these times. My playground extended from Mandeville to the beaches and small villages of the South Coast, and the island's capital, Kingston. Even though I have lived in the United States for twenty-four years, Jamaica still holds my navel string, a pull deep in my soul that begins as a low drum beat growing stronger and louder until I go back to her shores. Then the drums silence, the wind whistles welcome home, the sun warms my bones and the sand absorbs my homecoming tears, taking the ache of loss with it. I soak up the reggae rhythms around me. I remember my father teaching me to dance by saying, "move to the beat of the bass and drums." I sway to and fro, like a breeze through palm trees. Eight generations of my family are buried on the island. Roots so deep in the Jamaican soil that they will bind my heart and soul forever to my island in the sun, no matter how far afield I may go. I have had a storied life growing up in Jamaica, rich in experiences.