Open Letter to My Father

Dear Daddy,

My first day at school took you by complete surprise. I am told that while you dropped Nna off at school, I wandered into a class, sat, and refused to leave. You didn’t force me to come home with you and simply returned at the close of day.

You have always known this little girl’s heart. In that moment, you came to the realization that I would veer into many unchartered waters and you knew to let me be.

It was you who showed me how to be bold, to speak up, to ask questions. You showed me how to love God and persevere in prayer. You have prayed me into my destiny and covered me, as the priest of our home.

Your love made me unafraid, it made me sure of who I was. With you I was free to be me, to say what I thought. With you, I have known something I have never known with anyone else, security.

When you walk into a room, nothing could possibly go wrong. Your love gave me wings and your unshakeable presence taught me to use them. The gift of your name gave me something to defend, to uphold.

As my friend, you showed me the power of conversation and its ability to shift mindsets and transform hearts.

Your wisdom, your wit, your heart, and all that makes you who you are, I adore.

Thank you for surviving. Thank you for surviving and thriving through all life has thrown at you. Thank you for surviving the Civil War for me, for us. You are the rose that blossomed from concrete.

Because of you, I know what I deserve. Because of you, delighting in God’s love for me is easy.

For holding my hand when my heart was unsteady, for giving me jackets laden with your warmth and scent, for lending me your faith when mine vanished, I thank you.

For loving my mind just as much as you love my heart, I thank you. For trusting me to honor your legacy and your name far away from home, I thank you. For teaching me the virtue of hardships and their ability to produce resilient souls, I thank you. For holding me in my pain and tickling me to get me out of it, I thank you. For letting me play doctor/fashion guru/small mommy/lawyer/politician/journalist/personal assistant/banker, I thank you.

Because of you and mama, our tiny home has laughter baked into its walls.

May your spirit never fade. May your wife be a fruitful vine and your children like olive branches around God’s table.

May all the seeds of kindness you have sown in all directions, return to you bountifully.

And may you know, always and forever, that you are loved, honored, and will never walk alone.

Always your little,

Manma

Gloom in Spring

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately. I can’t place my finger on it but it feels like my soul has withdrawn from me. I don’t quite know what that means but it is very quiet down there.

Spring is in full bloom. The sun is out, the flowers are awake, and the trees sashay to the sound of the wind. The scent of freshly cut grass wafts through the air and the air itself feels different. It feels free and eager to erupt in singing. Winter’s chill is gone and I can finally put away that dreadful pile of jackets.

“What is this?”, I continually ask myself and God. I am sometimes at a loss for the will to create, to write. And yet when I do I know it is true. I find that now I let good and bad writing flow into each other, as long as it feels true. As long as it is true. Good and bad here, now, have become miscible and have formed a rich shade of gray.

But perhaps this is what love feels like. After the euphoria is gone and the crowd has dispersed. After the newness has fizzled away and all that is left is the quiet rhythm of ordinary life. The challenge then becomes loving the ordinary. Sitting in content silence while the fridge hums and the clock ticks.

To love and be so sure of that love that has built a magnificent castle and yet want to sit in the embrace of the ordinary.

I, even you, may be guilty of wanting to cram things into each waking moment. Don’t. Life, being what it is, sometimes forces you to sit still by its sheer will. And I would lose if I tried to wrestle with it. Fall into the ordinary and love where you land.

Inhale. Exhale. Eyes open, heart ready to love not the wonders of the world but the corners of my home that have become so familiar and grown nearly invisible. I fall into it.

Rain. Mist. Seas.

Flow but never lose your substance

Bend through creeks, flow into lakes

Cause floods, quench raging fires

Carry thunder

Clean, absolve, make new

Renew broken spirits

Refresh tired bodies

Signal the beginning of a new season

Cause life to flourish

Sustain it

Flow but never lose your substance

 

photo credit: Milo McDowell

Quotes I Live By

The winter semester is going by really quickly! I feel like I have just kept doing things non-stop. Last week was really hard for me and it was really hard to find quiet time.

So this week I am trying to remind myself of why I do the things I do and take more naps. Today on the blog, I will be sharing quotes that I try to live by.

These are from people who have walked/walk the earth and won my admiration. Enjoy!

 

  • As a rule,  I don’t like suffering to no purpose. Suffering should be creative, should give birth to something good and lovely ~ Chinua Achebe
  • My job is to inform, not to convince ~ St. Bernadette
  • Life and death are in the power of the tongue ~ Proverbs 18 v 21
  • I can take hardship. I can sleep on the cold floor anytime. I can also sleep on a feather bed ~ Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction ~ Margaret Thatcher
  • A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself ~  Proverbs 11 v 17
  • A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing ~ Maya Angelou
  • Every man dies, but not every man truly lives ~ William Wallace in Braveheart
  • That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for ~ Sam in Lord of the Rings
  • Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self ~ Mother Teresa

 

There it is, folks! What are some quotes that have helped you on your journey through life?

Roused by the Sounds of Morning

The apartment I share is situated by a long road that bends to the left and to the right. At the dawn of summer days, sunlight filters through the window and wakes me. On crisp September mornings, I hear the rustle of leaves carried by the wind.

At night, it appears as though the cars zooming back and forth are rushing to or returning from another day of toil. Another day of making things come together for complete strangers.

When I get out of bed early enough, I brew a cuppa tea and see schoolchildren as they chatter and queue up. The jolly little fellows await the bus eagerly.Continue reading “Roused by the Sounds of Morning”