Thursday, September 3, 2015


"Life attracts more life..." The narrator of the PBS special about the Great Barrier Reef was talking about the journey of a mega-school of tiny fish. I was preparing to leave home for the day; the program was keeping me company as I dressed. Hearing those words, my head snapped toward the screen, but my mind did not follow. It zoomed off into EverLand.

I began to see the faces, hear the voices of the people who stir me with their presence and their wise words. Some are charismatic -- vocal and animated -- some are so quiet that they barely leave a footprint when they enter the room. Except on the soul. My spiritual ear, like Pinocchio's nose, grows exponentially when they start talking. I just know I'm going to hear something that will blow away the cobwebs and cleanse my that I can savor afresh the good of Life.

They seem to have perfect timing, too, these Light-Bearing-Life-Givers, arriving just when I need an
answer or a confirmation or an affirmation, as if summoned from my lantern. In our world's preoccupation with death and destruction, they are on a mission. Of restoration, strength, freedom, generosity, laughter, hope...

Sometimes it doesn't feel like they know who they really are and what they really do, so embarrassed are they by my effusive thanksgiving. They just make it do what it do. Bring Life. Attract More Life. And make others' Lives grow and glow and go. Every. Single. Time.

You make my day! Thank you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Today I turned off the air conditioner and opened windows in every room. For some reason, the summer breeze reminded me of the apartment where I grew up. My grandmother, our matriarch, would open our first floor windows and tie back the curtains so that they would not blow outside (yep, no screens). The gentle summer winds that blew through our home were so sweet that the thought now brings tears to my eyes.

I’m not particularly nostalgic, not one to yearn much for the good ole days, but something about the breeze on my face took me alllll the way back to simpler times. I was a child who was dearly loved and well cared for even though my family was by no means wealthy or prominent. As the warm winds grace my every move today, I feel like my six year old self who sat in a chair in the open window and poured all my love out on Summer (and dared not stick my head or hands outside!).   

Life has presented me with some strong challenges in recent years; some that are still being resolved as I write these words. But I have seen the hand of God in ways that I might never have had those “opportunities” not presented themselves at the most inopportune times. And I realize afresh today that, through them alllll I have been so very loved and so very well cared for. Just like that happy little girl who lived on South Harper Avenue a long time ago.

Just had to say so,


Wednesday, July 29, 2015


My phone went dark. Just blank-screened me two seconds after I looked at it for the time. I thought I’d missed the low battery indicator, so I hooked it up for a recharge, to no avail. Soft restart; nada.

Then I ask my millennial goddaughter for help and she responds with “What did you do to it? You need a flip phone!”  What? I’m too S M A R T for a flip phone. I mean, I don’t go blank when you look at me. If you plug me in I charge up and do the doggone thing. I’m not busted after only seven months of service. No, sirree.  And you don’t have to make an appointment just to do your ‘genius’ act on me. Well, some of you do, but that ain’t the point.

The point is that it’s my smart phone that needs a flip. ‘Bout to get one too…

Working my nerves,


Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Language of Your Future

As the main character in the movie Woman in Gold, Maria, seizes the opportunity to flee Nazi-occupied Austria, she bids a poignant goodbye to her terminally ill father, speaking in their native tongue. At one point during their exchange he exhorts her in English to “…speak the language of your future”. A faith statement if ever I’ve heard one.

Maria had to be quick-witted and surefooted to escape the soldiers who were in hot pursuit, when interrogated about her luggage at the airport. She had to be fully in the moment while holding the future in view. Or she never would have made it. 

It may be touch and go today. I might be in pain. Or fear. Or simply have the blues. I could be angry bordering on P.O.'d and want to let it rip on some deserving individual. And while I believe it’s important to live fully in the moments of each day, I also believe in tomorrow. That it will be bigger and better. That what I’m expecting is this/close. That looking inward and over my shoulder might make me miss my cue. That what I say along the way can make it or break it. 

Speak the language of your future. It is the voice of my Father guiding me to destiny.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Mother's Day, Toya Graham

Toya Graham is my shero not because she checked her son during the Baltimore uprising, but because it is clear to me that that was not the first time she had exercised her parental authority. If that were so, the whole world would have known it. How? By his reaction.

I watched him very carefully as she muffed him. That 15 year old boy is at least four inches taller than her; she had to reach up to land one upside his head. He could have hit her in the top of her head, pushed her down, or broke away running. He did not. He tried to block her blows, an automatic defense response, but that’s all. Parents in communities all over America have been murdered by their children for far less than a swack upside the head.

Her son's response tells me that Ms. Graham has always been on her parent-square. She has been disciplining him in some way or the other since he was able to defiantly tell her “No!” in his terrible twos. She's been training him to be a good citizen of the world since day one, even if he's not quite there yet. I’ll bet money on that. If that were not the case, I guarantee you that we would have seen something quite different in that video.

A few days later I watched their World News Tonight interview -- the embarrassed son and the mothers’ mother. He was properly chagrined. She was calm and poised and unapologetic. And I saw a family sharing with the world the love that they have for one another, albeit with a new understanding of its parameters.

No, that was not the first time Toya Graham corrected her son. And while I doubt that swatting is her only form of discipline, what I do know is what we all now know about the Graham family -- who the parent is in that home. 

Would to God we could say that for every household in America.

Happy Mother's Day,

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finish Strong

We all laughed at the video of the runner who began to encourage the crowd to cheer his impending victory…slowed his pace…and was beaten by the guy in second place who kept pushing to the end. He was the 21st century edition of the tortoise and the hare. You know the story: Hot-Air-Hare took off running and being so far ahead of his opponent, decided to stop for a nap. Steady-Freddy Tortoise did not change his pace or break his focus. And crept right past Hot-Air to the finish line.

Yes, I laughed but I also took heed. It ain’t over til it’s over. Whatever it took to get here, is what it will take to get There. So I’m praying for myself. For grace to finish. That I won’t be distracted by a good report or a bad one or no report at all. That I don’t change my pace just because I can see the finish line. That neither my focus nor my resolve is broken by presumption or assumption. That I finish strong. Period.  

I believe in celebrating small victories along the way, but when you’re in the final lap the only thing that really counts is when you break that tape.

Press on,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Well Said

Say it straight, simple, and with a smile.
                            -- Yogi Tea (teabag tag)