“Touching The Earth”


affection appreciation decoration design

Each year on my birthday, I take the time to sit and reflect on the passing years. Paying attention to my challenges and triumphs, my reflection usually culminates in a declaration of sorts; a declaration/guide to see me through what’s to come.   Here is my declaration for the road ahead.

The older I get, the quicker the years pass by;  the more anxious I become about the fact that there seems not to be enough time for it all. So I’ve learned, and am learning to stop wasting time; to tell the people  I love, “I love you,” often.  I’m prioritizing soulful connections, tenderness,  laughter, my health, facing my fears, holding space for others, sharing and shining my light, gaining knowledge, shifting my perspective, honoring the ancestors and the earth, putting in the work, giving my all, and following my dreams.

The older I get, the quicker I learn to set aside shame, embarrassment, and regret; for they change nothing.  If I can repair or undo a mistake, I do it. Otherwise, I learn the lesson and look forward in renewed purpose.  I’m learning more, listening more, hugging more, holding more, teaching more, leaving more, forgiving more, crying more (tears of sorrow and of joy), sitting in silence more and more, and recognizing my divinity.

The older I get, the more I want to make time for what’s most important.  The easier it is to give of myself, to lean in and draw near, to spend time with family and friends, to work with my hands, to create, to unclutter, to nurture, to support the dreams of young people, to tell my story and my secrets, to lead by example, to make promises and keep them; because people need promises, and so ‘Promise Makers Matter.’

The older I get, the more torn I am between taking a photo to capture a moment to look back on and being fully present to immerse myself in that moment so that the memory is imprinted on my heart.  I’m channelling balance. Sometimes I stop to take the photo and sometimes I immerse myself in the moment, and let my heart do the camera work.  Sometimes, if I’m the one taking the group selfie, and I’m looking back into the faces that I so love, then I am both capturing the moment and imprinting it on my heart…#WINNING!

The older I get, the more I value interrupters; for I grew up like most of us, learning that interruptions of any kind were rude and more or less, displayed a lack of self-control.   I now know that there is value in the interrupter; for interrupters move us along; they provide a different perspective; they cause us to question how committed we are to the process; they cause us to question the process itself.  Harriet, Nat, Malcom, Martin, Marcus, Angela, Nina, Tracey, Coltrane, Billie, Ayanna, Maxine, Carlota Lukumi, Yaa Asantewaa, Tupac, Mr. Rogers, Assata, Audre Lorde, Gill-Scott, Iris, Nikki G, Lillith, my son Reese, my niece Layla, and so many others have been interrupters.   I have always been one, but I am more comfortable as one now that I recognize that I am in good, no, GREAT company.  As a proud interrupter, I am becoming more solution focused and action-oriented. Now more than ever, I am certain that continuous effort is the key to unlocking my fullest potential.  I used to spend a lot of time asking why?  I am now shifting to asking why not?

The older I get, the harder starting over gets. However, I am better at realizing how necessary and beneficial it is.  I am better at recognizing the value in what is solid, and steady, and ritualistic while embracing necessary change.  Our lives are full of change.  I am learning to be more courageous in the face of change. Our world is changing quicker than we can understand it.  I am learning to look for the answers revealing themselves through the change. I recognize my fear of these things, my disappointment that this is not the world I had hoped to hand down to the next generation. Yet and still, I show up. I show up because when good people show up, great things happen. I show up because the younger generation, as much as they want to believe that they have all the answers (and we were the same way) they need us to show up for them.  I show up because I recognize that one by one, and then together we can all make a difference. I’m hanging on to hope in humanity now more than ever, because a heart without hope is dismal, and hope breeds excellence. And I am striving more and more for excellence; shoot, I [AM] excellence!

The older I get, the clearer it has become to me that I am the one in charge. “I say who, I say when, I say WHO!” (chuckle) I am the governess of my thoughts, my feelings, my body, my voice.  I am a fierce warrior Goddess and also a strong warrior King! I am Makeda, Aminatu, and Nefertiti, and Sahle Selassie incarnate.   No one can tell me what to think or how to feel.  And I am the only authority over my temple.  If I don’t want to wear a bra I won’t.  And if I want to rock high heels with sweat pants and a bodysuit, then that’s what I’m rockin’ and it’ll be my fashion trend alone if no one else is diggin’ it.  And if in my 40’s I decide I want to try to have another baby, then it’ll be my decision with who and how that happens, because when the ancestors were being bred way into their 60’s no one gave them a choice. And because I have the choice, in honor of them, and in honor of myself, and in honor of every woman everywhere who hasn’t had or doesn’t have the choice, I will make the one that’s right for me. .. What I absolutely will not do, is suffer in silence.  There used to be some part of me that thought there was something noble about suffering in silence.  Perhaps because I’ve watched so many of my people do it. I’ve seen the way it eats away at the spirit and dims the inner light. I know better now so I’ve given up on being a martyr. I will use my voice to ask for what I need.  I will use my voice to say yes if it’s yes and no if it’s no.  And if there is someone who hasn’t developed their voice yet, or who for whatever reason has lost their voice, then I will become the voice of the voiceless.  Because [that] is the noble thing to do.

As I get older, I am drawn more often to the Oceanside.  To say I’m a beach lover is a gross understatement.  My spirit is both settled and wild at the water’s edge.  For on every beach where I have sunken my toes deep into the sand and gazed far out onto the water to where the skyline touches the sea, some twelve million of my ancestors have stood; toes in the sand, gazing far out into the water, longing for home.  It’s their blood, and their flesh, and their vitality that is circulating in my veins, and nourishing every cell in me.  When I stand free and unfettered at the ocean’s edge, I am reminded that I am indeed “the hope and the dream of the slave.” Ase!

As I get older, I am falling further in love with words and expression (as if you couldn’t tell), and so this declaration could literally go on and on.  And perhaps it will.  But for now, I’m stopping here. Because, as I get older, I understand more and more how crucial gratitude is.  So I am stopping for now to give thanks and to “Touch the Earth.” “Touching The Earth” can help us to realize our wish to generate the energies of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.  As I Touch The Earth, I surrender my pride, notions, fears, resentments, and even my hopes and enter the world of “things as they are,” and return to my very own source of wisdom.  So, THANK YOU! Thanks for the many birthday wishes that came via post, text, email, phone call, and Facetime.  Thank you for the touching letters, and beautiful gifts. Each one brought such joy to my heart and reminded me that I am standing in the universe’s favor. More importantly, thank for being a part of the circle of people who lift me up and hold me in the light of love.   I am thankful that on this journey, our paths are intermingled, and I am excited for the road ahead!


6 thoughts on ““Touching The Earth”

  1. Absolutely wonderful! Truly profound! As we get older, I can identify with these same thoughts/feelings…Not a fan of interrupters, but you’ve opened my eyes about looking at them in a new light!


    1. Gaylia, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. There are so many things that as I get older and have more experiences under my belt, I’ve learned to look at through a different lens. I’m learning to take a second look at what typically brings discomfort to most of us, to see if there is value.


  2. I’m in love! This is a wonderful blueprint for what lies ahead. Thank you for sharing it with us and giving me some hope on what getting older can mean.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your feedback and am curious to know what are some declarations/blueprints (I love thinking of this as a blueprint) that others have for the road ahead.


  3. This is beautiful. Your words inspire me to want to do better, be better and to strive to age in the thoughtful, compassionate and graceful way you write about.


    1. Beth, Thanks for taking the time to read and to share your comment. Your sharing that my words inspire you is an affirmation for me that I am “sharing and shining my light.” Thanks so much!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: