Is that you? In the wind?

Mommy, 
I like to think that sometimes you are the wind

Or there’s a machine to control the wind 

and you get a turn.

When my toes are in the sand & a rush hits my shoulders, I think of you.

When I feel the wind on my cheek, I think of you.

When a gust wraps its arms around me in the street, I think of you.

You’re always there: watching & guiding & whispering.

I quiet the world,I can hear you. 

I hear you in breath, I feel you in a breeze.

You’re love is a guiding wind.

It grew so great that you had to leave

so you could be everywhere.

Everlasting, Eternal air.

Gratefulness

Beholden to my Mother.

I’d say that’s true.

For loving me so much she’d rinse my crying eyes of shampoo.

Beholden to my Father.

For there’s no doubt 

that he opened the door for all the laughter the world would allow.

Beholden to my sisters.

There’s no room to question

that they’d cross the universe with me at the slightest suggestion.

Beholden to my brother.

For that is certain.

His smile fills the room like the sun when you draw back the curtains.

Beholden to my Grandmother,

I’ll always believe

her spirits larger than anything I could conceive.

Beholden to my heart 

with no hesitation 

Their love fills it with a joy beyond explanation.

My identity

I envy folks who can erase their history and create a new definition of who they are; that is absolutely brave. I have this need to learn everything there is about me: the mundane, the things worthy of pride & shame and the parts of my story that were ripped from me.Whether it is fortunate or not, every single part of me, past and present, is who I am.

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The key to carrying my past (my stories & the stories of my ancestors) is perspective. I can choose to let my history drag me down or I can say “I am Imani : daughter, sister, cousin, friend & grandchild. I am one part of a long story that is always expanding, and though it is not perfect, all of it is mine”. I cannot separate myself from this story because I don’t want to lose that feeling of representing something greater than myself. And I agree that it is no one’s job to represent anything, but I volunteer.

So, when I step forward (or backwards), I’m stepping with great-great Mary A. Johnson, My Mom, My Grandma’s, my dear Aunts and Uncles, and everyone who has brought me here.

And, here we are.