On New Year’s morning, I woke up feeling marked safe. Unscathed but understanding that the year we just overcame did not vanish into thin air. While some things innately got left behind in yesteryear, I was not foolish to believe that the storm was over. In some ways, waking up Friday morning felt like dawning a fresh page, but it also felt like an ongoing saga…
I’ve had three cesarean births. During c-section recovery, literally months post-surgery, I’d still feel a prevalence of pain around my incision area. It would linger like a burn scent. The intense sensation around the cut forever stored in my memory bank. This is how 2020 hit me. Life-altering and scarring, yet needed, so that faith could be activated and the vision of a vulnerable human could be fully realized. With each subsequent c-section, the post-surgical pain became more tolerable. It is tolerance I hope to reset and cultivate in 2021.
Like the debris and cleanup process that awaits after a storm, I woke up Friday morning surveying the aftermath— figuring out what to rebuild first. 2020 hit us hard—making this new year feel like the calm after a destructive storm. Subsequent storms are inevitable, but like the hurricane gains its strength, so have we. I don’t know about anyone else, but it is the strength of ten storms that I have carried into 2021…and a damn reliable umbrella. It remains gloomy, but I expect the sun to shine its golden rays on each of us this year.
It is now day three of 2021, and I’ve already witnessed misfortunes and miracles. We are all still fighting for our health. Our children are preparing to go back to school to pick back up with distance learning. Masks remain a part of our identity because the disease is still out there. Sorrows have cascaded into the New and losses have manifested into the Now, creating healing opportunities that we will wake up to tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
We welcome you, 2021; and all your vitality. Like a sleeping newborn we’d rather not stir, we welcome your calm. We also welcome the residual peril we can’t fully walk away from. You’re the chapter we just finished, but the book we can’t quite close. We welcome God’s eternal plan and the daily doses of “getting there”. We welcome your fresh and foreboding energy. If you can’t promise to be gentle, at least promise to make us better people no matter the hardship or heartache. Promise to deliver us. Promise to bring hope and healing to our dire circumstances. Promise that the prayers we prayed and the tears we shed back then will grow gardens in the days to come.
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.