My family, from what I have been told and taught, have been bootleggers, moonshiners, sharecroppers and farmers.
One of my favorite memories growing up is the natural light in my maternal grandmother’s house. In her two-story brick house, there were always two things: plants and light. My maternal grandmother loved plants, fishing and gardening. It was only once this shelter-in-place was in effect that I remembered how special, how soothing natural light was. It is one of the reasons that I work nights–I like to watch the sun rise. There is something soothing, always has been for me, to see the darkness dissipate moment by moment–minute by minute. It was a mentor of mine, through the tool of an e-mail list, that made me remember how special natural light is. Everyday, every single day, since March, I opened shutters. I opened blinds.
I sat in the sun with nothing to pull me from that space–from that light. The light reminded me that life was still on going. Oh, yes, I know the value of sunlight: mood enhancing, vitamin D and the converting of calcium. I mean, my skin is a repository for Vitamin D! I revel now in what my old hair dresser would call my ‘summer color.’ Even now I giggle at being an NW 40 in the winter and a NW 43 in the summer (yes, I’m a MAC Cosmetics girl, aside from Fashion Fair (I’m Pecan!) the first cosmetics company that actual gave me a match to my skin)! It is that peace, that connection to life inside me and outside of me that makes me throw open windows, even in a pandemic.
There is still life!
There is still laughter, there is still joy, there are still things to do! I still have to show my children the magic of light, and plants, and trees. I have to show them that life still remains…with suffering all around you. It’s never just about the sunlight…but the sunlight is what reminds me to keep hoping. It is a reminder that faith is not foolish, and–hope is a discipline! Just like the sun rises every morning, and I am awake to greet. I have been taught that Black folk, Black women especially, have to make what they need…and even if that means to remake themselves.
This pandemic cannot stop me. It will not stifle me. It will not kill me and mine. It’s like Maya said, “Like dust…I rise.” I, too, am–and have become–the sun.
[image from AZ Quotes]