In the heart of Trinidad, the Lopinot Valley carried tales as old as the hills. Folk stories spoke of the echoes of drums that could be heard from the old cocoa estates on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, a unique blend of the island’s colonial history and the African roots of its ancestors.
Leandra, a young woman in her twenties, had returned to Trinidad after years of studying abroad. She had grown up hearing the tales of the drums but had never experienced them. Her grandmother, Nana Adjoa, had been a storyteller, and her favorite tale was that of the ancestral drums that played on these holy nights.
“Those drums,” Nana Adjoa would say with a glint in her eyes, “they’re the heartbeat of our ancestors, reminding us of our roots and those who came before.”
The first All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day after Nana Adjoa’s passing was a quiet one for Leandra. As night blanketed the valley, Leandra decided to visit the old cocoa estate that her grandmother always spoke about, hoping to find solace and feel close to Nana Adjoa.
Hours went by, with nothing but the chirping of crickets and the gentle rustling of leaves. Just as Leandra began to feel disheartened, she felt a soft vibration under her feet, a rhythmic pattern she recognized from her childhood. The sound of drums filled the air, soft at first, but gradually growing in intensity.
Leandra closed her eyes, allowing the rhythm to consume her. She imagined the many hands that played those drums over generations, communicating stories, love, and memories. In that beat, she felt the presence of her Nana Adjoa, dancing and celebrating alongside her ancestors.
As dawn approached, the drumming faded, leaving the valley in peaceful silence. Leandra, however, felt rejuvenated. The drums, the stories, the traditions had connected her to a lineage of strength, resilience, and love.
She made a silent promise to ensure that the tales of Lopinot, of the ancestral drums, and the legacy of Nana Adjoa would continue to beat for generations to come. On every All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, the drums would play, and the valley would dance in remembrance and honor of those who had passed but were never truly gone.