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On July 10, 2011, a subtle Dominican energy broke from its collective formation. Such a formation could be traced to rock, plant and animal life, but that would be too steep, too soon a precipitous drop into the archaeological.
Let’s be simple here. A West Indies team desperately in search of wins and at the very least, a modicum of support for its remaining strength, had put on a memorable fight against India at Dominica’s Windsor Stadium. That game which had been on from July 6, ended in a draw, two West Indian centuries, the granting of a citizenship to Shivnarine Chanderpaul and a salute from the thousands gathered in festive sporting spirit.
Just before the awards ceremony, captain Darren Sammy was so pleased with Dominican support for his team that he led that team around the Windsor Stadium while the people stood and saluted a sporting failure. They didn’t mind that the team had been failing religiously.
In the moments the team spent with the Dominican people batting and bowling against the world champions, the people of Dominica dug into their breaths and geologies. Don’t be amazed that it’s structured this way – granting a metaphysical place to the Dominican. We need know our miraculous selves.
In that moment of salute, I sat and stood in Georgia, USA locked into the event with a softer voice in me asking what I knew the answer to already. Who are we?
We’re not known to know cricket, are we? I mean we still must struggle to get Shane Shillingford back on the West Indies team after he was banned some said, and suspended according to others.
Australia’s Herald Sun carried its story on Wednesday November 22, 2010 under the title West Indies Off-Spinner Shane Shillingford Banned Over Action’. No illegal here. Daniel of Melbourne posted the single comment. It read, “pity for him that he’s not from the subcontinent. If he was, they’d just change the rule to allow him to keep chuckin …” (Extracted from An Unassuming Love, found at www.steinberg.com).
This may in part, answer to the question who we are, the enigma Shane delivered to Sri Lanka after that first test and, his all mesmerizing deliveries which stun them to this day. Indeed, Billy Doctrove’s presence may help us build pieces to the purpley-green island’s stillness over its talent resource; to a mystery in what calypsonian Derrick ‘Hunter’ St. Rose referred to as “typical Dominican man.’
Sounds a bit like an archaeological find and may well be, save that Dominican anthropological man, Dominican man and woman would not generally see him or herself as being dug out, dusted, washed, polished as an artifact. And in sports appreciation, there are many who believe we’ve just arrived, not realizing we had many before Shane Shillingford and contained in our very solar plexuses was a yearning to bless a team from the very source of rock, plant, animal and water life.
Here’s Dominican sports commentator Darwin Telemacque as he shivered through the outpouring of the Dominican blessing to those in transition in the West Indies team. “I’m almost lost for words. This is the nature island. There is pureness in nature. The response here: you can simply say it’s pure. It is the heart of a people who appreciate their team. It makes you feel that West Indies cricket is not lost after all …. The team wasn’t doing well. It came here not doing well. People came because they love this team. And this can be nurtured. If this can be replicated, regardless of what you think – whichever country you’re in, Barbados, Jamaica – if you realize that this is your team and you come out with the type of pure desire that you see here, maybe we can give the team what it needs to become better ….”
And this is precisely what the people of Dominica did: gave the team and those who would follow in its stead, the subtle energy to become better day after day, month after month and year after year. Darwin described that energy as pure. It sustains itself!
That collective energy has to be from the purest source, but don’t say this too loud. Not only have satellites already seen; a few among us ourselves may not like to know value in our harvest.