My girls have this thing that they do. I find it beautiful, pure, and a little strange. They have a way of trusting their parents through all of the extremes– a health pandemic, financial hardships, the prejudice ingrained in our society, and little off-balanced moments in which mommy’s stress is amplified…
Because worry is so futile to them– because they are hardwired for happiness, they have a way of not letting life in all its glory and hilarities, pass them by. Meanwhile, frazzled adults are feeling the panic and pressure of having had our norm disrupted for six months. Yet, children continue to grow like lilies in a field.
This picture of my daughters laughing out loud during one of our quarantine lunch runs blesses me. I remember feeling so exhausted and inadequate on this day. I remember how far I felt from God. On that day, I realized how long it had been since I prayed with my whole heart. Believe it or not, it’s been months.
I have a husband I deeply adore, and together we have three children who are so amazing. They are the only ones who can get me and Keith off of the fast track long enough to be fully present and enjoy this life we’ve built. We have meaningful careers, but we get tired. So tired that the final moment of the day is like ninepins crashing. And then, we wake up to mindless morning scrolling. Often for me though, the same way I go down is the same way I wake up…overwhelmed by notifications, family needs, to-do lists, work emails, and life/people expectations. It’s too much. And the older I get, hustle mode gets less satisfying.
Maybe I’m happy. Maybe I’m joyful. Maybe I have something profound to say. But more often than not, the vista remains foggy and I really do forget how beautiful the lilies are out there…
I miss the meditation and the postures of prayer. I miss the organic nature of not having the day planned out from beginning to denouement. The beauty of surrendering to God, for me, has always been in how the day shapes up. Never an imperfect day; never an imperfect lily.
My personal goals and priorities can, however, get outside of The perfect plan; and to my surprise, the things I don’t get to are always best suited for later. I only grasp this concept when my day is rooted in prayer and meditation.
Prayer has always provided mental clarity and hope in the ongoing fight against injustice. I think better when I have prayed. The passion is steady and the urgent need to achieve quiets itself; so joy can get louder. I get more focused…more useful in my home and in the world.
I miss it. And since life continues to show that it is indeed a vapor, I am returning to it…
Clinnesha is a wife, mom, daughter/sister/auntie, literary artist, humanities scholar, and social entrepreneur.Her advocacy work is at the intersection of black/feminist thought, arts, culture, and community.