Sunday, May 2, 2010

She Smiles

Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Volcanoes. Now floods. It beginning to think Mother Nature is angry. It certainly makes me feel like I need to do what I can to reduce my "carbon footprint." Our family recycles, but is it enough?

I was going through my closet over the weekend, cleaning out clothes that I know I'll never wear again, but someone who has no clothes may be happy to have. My friend Tam's church group was collecting clothes for the victims of the Yazoo City tornado. It felt great to not only give my closet some breathing space, but to know that someone will benefit from the clothes my butt is too big to squeeze into.

Alot of folks in Yazoo City and other areas where the huge tornado hit last weekend lost everything. I can't imagine. As I continue my quest to pair down my life, getting rid of the clutter and things that just don't have a place in my life, I can't help but think about those who lost everything in the blink of an eye. They had no choice about what went and what stayed. The furious winds of the tornado swooped everything thing up at once and now those folks are having to rebuild their lives.

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. --Galatians 6:2 

It's no wonder Mother Nature is pissed. Look at what's happening on the Gulf Coast with the oil spill. So sad...but I don't understand how people can so quickly turn on BP with such hatred. Sure, someone was negligent, but no one had a problem with the offshore oil wells when all was going long as they had gas at the pumps to put into their cars. It seems to me that when disaster happens, people are quick to lay blame. I believe we are all responsible...the desires of consumers drives the manufacturers.

Many feel a sense of helplessness, but I guess I have more of a Pollyanna attitude. I'm determined to see the bright side of life. And there is plenty to see. Like friends who have new babies to rock, a happy family, wonderful friends, and so much more. Not that I'm putting my head in the sand and ignoring the natural and man-made disasters. Instead, I am taking the time to pray for those affected, and pray that collectively, we will all make attempts to be more gentle, more kind, more responsible, and more grateful for what we do have.

And in the midst of it all, there are life-affirming events that add joy to our lives. For me, one of those events was watching Nicole dance on Friday night. She participated in the National Dance Week Dance-a-Thon at Belhaven. The event benefited one of her favorite causes, the "Ask for More Arts" program. I felt a tinge of deja vu as I sat in the audience and watched as dancers performed. The program opened with two three-year-old ballerinas. One was a natural, performing all the moves, playing to the audience, while the other spent her time on stage planning her escape. We were treated to ballet, hip hop, salsa, Irish dancing, tap and Nicole's interpretive dance, performed to Talamieka Brice's spoken word--a poem she wrote about Nicole's accident and recovery. Powerful, beautiful and moving...

"She sits alone in her tutu, hair tousled, limbs stiff from the fall, body bearing the scars that fractured it…and smiles for she is not broken.

Found in the pit with discarded items, the darkness paled underneath the weight of her light…
She lived
Through broken promises and doubts
Through bleak medical prognosis and love gone cold

Legs that would not move anchored her,
Toes that yearned to wiggle failed to communicate their desires to a shattered spine, and then one day She STOOD!
Dizzy from life, the small frame many thought would be six feet below stood 5 feet above and triumphantly smiled
The seed was planted and nurtured with love and warmed with well wishes, she broke through the concrete of paralysis and blossomed

Slowly at first, held by the spunk that led her to a dancer’s life, a Harlem roof six stories high and a tumble down the rabbit’s hole. 
One foot in front of the other, steadily she walked, supported by the prayers of those she never met and some she had, she walked.
And one day, she tested her wings left the support of her perch, believing she she flew, finding the balance, shifting the pain, trusting she’d dance again
She DID!!!

…She sits in her tutu, body bearing the scars from her life, paralyzed legs walking again, bones still mending and she SMILES…shouldn’t we all?
A special thanks to Talamieka for her beautiful words, and to her husband, Charles, for these photos.

Blessings to all who read this!


  1. This brought tears to my eyes and chills all over my body. How beautiful a story. And to know the person of whom it is referring, THANKS BE TO GOD! for the miracle we have witnessed.

  2. Beautifully written, thanks so much for the shout out!

  3. Absolutely beautiful.

    My daughter sells Scentsy! Love it!! What are your favs?