Today is women’s day in South Africa. As I was reflecting on the day, I got so emotional thinking about the women who have and still carry me. Late last year when I couldn’t see a way forward, I went home to my mother and aunts and sisters and cousins. They literally carried me and pieced me back together. To this day, my phone lock screen is a picture of my mom with two of my aunts (above). A reminder each time I open my phone that andihambi ndedwa. That I am never ever alone. Then there were my friends, some of the most generous people I know. Generous in love, time, patience and money! So, so grateful for each of them. I also found comfort in the words written by women in poetry. So much has been gifted to me by women, and this I do not take lightly.
For the women in my life: I am so grateful for you all and how your existence enlarges mine – truly. You guys make me more just by existing. For the women who aren’t here anymore: the fact that you lived and existed makes me want to be more. Your lives bring so much meaning and purpose to mine. I live in such a glorious cycle – nourished by the living; propelled by the departed. What a privilege to love and be loved by you all!
Grateful for the women that lift me up and keep me up…
For my mother and her shouting generosity. My first love and true north.
My first physical sign of God’s existence;
For my sisters, gracious victims of imperfect efforts through the learnings of love and unwavering dedication;
For my aunts, blood and otherwise – what I truly mean when I talk about my village;
For my cousins and nieces, holding hands as we learn together;
For my friends that raise me up and hold me in the clouds. Then bring me down and invite me to behold Christ, the real treasure.
My first audience and affirmation of whimpering efforts;
For Zora and her words that expand my world;
For Toni and Nina and their largesse existence even to strangers like me.
For all the women who defy what they are told they ought to be, existing instead as constructs of their understanding of God’s calling.
Seeking the truest sense of what it means to be image bearers;
For those who press forward in dedication, joy and kindness in a world that glorifies the grotesque;
For the women that will be, and how the thought of them pushes some of us to greater legacies;
For the women that were, and how the thought of them reminds us to live fuller and truer;
and sis Ndileka
and sis Asavela
and sis Nosisa
and my grandmother.
Names that serve as a living memorial, a constant reminder to try and try and try to be their wildest dreams.
To actively and constantly choose certainty and clarity when worldly mists distort and distract.
Grateful for all those standing with me in the sun, allowing both the warmth and scorching to raise us all to better versions and heights of self.
From breath to death – the rising and setting of life in our current form, glory be to God in, and through, and for it all.