June 11, 2009

Four Generations Will Gather

By the time you read this, I will be in Florida!

Mom turned 80 on May 21st and we are gathering the family for a reunion celebration. The last time we did this was for her 75th EarthStrong. Since that last big get-together, we have welcomed Ethan into the family and mourned the loss of Candace.

As there will be four generations of us and no one's home is large enough to hold us all, we rented a massive beach house in St Augustine, Florida for a week. My sisters and neice have done an amazing job of coordinating school, work and vacation schedules, conference calls and e-mails; all of which were kept secret from Mom until her actual EarthStrong. We told her about it on a family conference call. It was self-defense! We had to make sure she wasn't making other travel plans. (My pet name for her is "Miss Never-Stay-At-Home"!)

Thank you, Jah, for the blessing of a wise and Godly woman as my Mother. Thank you for my two brothers and my three sisters. Thank you, Jah, for my children and my grandchildren and my neices and nephews and my aunts and uncles. Thank you for our bonds of blood and family lineage. Thank you for letting me know where I come from, so I can help our coming generations find their paths into the future!

June 8, 2009

Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life; how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it. She wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. Soon the pots came to boil. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

When she turned off the burners she fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft, mushy. The mother then asked her daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, her mother asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted the rich aroma. She asked, 'What does it mean, Mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside hardened. Only the ground coffee beans were unique! After they were in the boiling water, they changed the water. 'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Consider this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other tribulation, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiffened spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Jah, I pray that I can always be THE COFFEE BEAN!

June 6, 2009

Cross In Lucite

The pendant is a cross embedded in lucite. I used a combination of right angle weave, netting and peyote to make the band that holds the lucite oval. The necklace is made of seed beads and a beaded toggle clasp.

June 5, 2009

A Peaceful Visit

My visit with my dear Sistah-friend, FBMB, was a balm for my soul. I hadn’t seen her in donkey years and we picked up our relationship like it was last week! While I was focused on wrapping up my career and moving to Jamaica, she transferred to Denver, Colorado, USA to co-ordinate a national volunteer program and we lost contact.

Last May I got an e-mail on an old e-mail address that I haven’t used in years; since C&WJ admitted they couldn’t repair the phone line at the house. When I realized I would have to make other arrangements for e-mail, I sent out the generic “Use my new e-mail address” and pretty much forgot about it. I stopped checking the old inbox.

One morning I got a strong urge to check the old inbox. Try as I might, I couldn’t ignore the ning-ning-ninging in the back of my head. I am glad I followed my mind, because, in addition to all the junk, there was an e-mail from FBMB, letting me know she was back in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She was checking to see if that was still my e-mail address. For the past year we have e-mailed, texted and talked to bring us up to date on each other’s lives.

When the timing was right, we made arrangements for her to come down for a visit. I, of course, had a long list of places I wanted to take her. The morning she boarded the flight, her husband called to say the one thing she needed from this vacation was plenty of rest.

So, OK, Lady Roots, put away the tour guide plans. Your friend needs rest, not running around the south coast. Other than one trip to Mandeville and one therapy session, we only took her to Jack Sprat and to YS Falls. The Black River Safari, MarBlue, Font Hill Beach, Lil Ochi and Accompong will be on the agenda when she returns with her husband.

FBMB was the woman whom I most admired in my corporate life. Once, when another manager said that there was no room for God in the boardroom, her response was, “If there is no room for God, there’s no room for me.” At that moment, I knew she was a woman I wanted to work for. Thank you, Jah, for the love and friendship of this wonderful woman.