The Rooted Ant: Home, By Any Means Necessary

Ant on car door.Not too long ago, I was driving home when I saw this large ant (yes, the one pictured here) stroll out of my glove box, prance across the dash and hold court near the window. It was at least the length of a push pin. I watched its antennae flicker across the doorjamb as it inched closer and closer to the half-opened window. The moment it crossed the threshold to the outside, I hit the button to close the window. I thought that would be the end of the ant on steroids, but it wasn’t. Don’t you know that ant did everything it could to find its way back inside? At every red light, I watched in amazement as it first tried to penetrate the glass. When it couldn’t do that, it started to seek out the edge of the window, which is when I finally came out of my own trance and decided to take a couple of pictures.

The determined creature acted as if it was possessed of some spirit that required it to literally break through the glass to the inside. That if there wasn’t a door, in the words of the late Carter G. Woodson, it would cut one for its special benefit, because its very nature demanded it. The determination was perplexing, yet at the same time I had to respect the fight exuding from this little entity.

From the top of the window to the bottom and along the door, if there was an opening, it had committed to getting back to where it had come. I realized something about this ant. It had roots. A genetic memory. It wasn’t subject to the wind, although, the wind was blowing pretty brisk by the time I got up to about 55 mph. The roots of the ant dictated that it go back home, to where there were other ants that shared a similar way of life.

I wondered then how many Africans, stolen from the Motherland, were as determined as this ant to get back. Back to where there were others who understood their language, their traditions, their ways. I’ve heard tell of some that chose death over dishonor. I wonder if in choosing death, their thought had originally been like that of the ant—that they had to return home by any means necessary, even if as spirits.

The consideration of what might have transpired, flowed over into the current-day circumstances of Africans the world over. Will there come a day when Africans, African Americans, Blacks, Moors, Originals, or whatever we call ourselves, decide to get home by any means necessary? When I say home, I’m not exactly speaking of returning to the continent of Africa, but becoming a solidified unit. A uniform entity. One that operates in sync with its own best interests.

Home, as I’ve come to find, is not a four-walled structure. Home is something that is cultivated in the mind and grows outward, sprawling like ivy up the side of a house. Home is engineered into the spirit. When you deny home or when your memory is so diminished as to forget the way home, you’re left to the cold, icy nights. There is no sanctuary, no solitude. You are one against the elements . . . and eventually, the elements win.

So much to be learned from observing those who pay no money to reside on this earth.

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