Blue, skies are blue. Smile, big smiles are big. Love from you is love. Grace will do, will do. Otito Chukwu. We celebrated our Tochi with grace and gratitude today. The skies were the perfect blue. Family flew from afar and full of love. We smiled, we toasted, we celebrated. If you knew how this journey began, you will know why we are grateful for grace. Keep flying beyond blues skies still. Happy graduation day, Tochi.

What awakens you to life? Questions. Mysteries. Love. Hurdles. Happiness. Fire. Advice. The other day my mother-in law, gave me an advice that I needed to take to heart. Today, my husband shared a token from a patients family with advice that I also needed to hear to take to heart. Life is short. All of it. Whether it’s 10 years or 80 years. It’s short. So, lick a spoon.

I did today. I really did. This reminder, awakened something within me. It’s not the people we meet along the way. Those that stop to say hello or those that hurry on by. It’s not the papers we write. The grants too we write. It’s this moment. Times where I get to reflect, these days that matter. Everything else seems simple and small, right next to the vastness of thoughts that awakens you to the possibilities within. Every deed, every sight. Things heavy, those deep. What we do now? What we don’t? All of it for this moment. Not for anything else. But this thing I call my own. What awakens you to life. For me these days, everything, and a spoon.

Motherhood is not only a noun, but a sound, a state of being, history, culture, memories, mine, theirs, evenings with a sigh, mornings with a smile, all of me, some of them. Something full of complexity, enormity, anything that personifies thing. It’s that thing that is terrible, yet we do in stride, with strength to speak for those yet to speak, stories yet told of loves black line mind who mother in stride.

Like those of my grandmother, a woman, history will never know. Not as a book or a star etched to the ground. Yet memories of her being, bloom in my being. For when I think of motherhood, I see her. My first example of being. Like raindrops falling on my head. The truth nestled within each drop, every single one on my head, is a way of being, she personified so well. Juliana was her first name. Iwegbu her last. Yet, when I speak, you hear her words oozing from my lips, as if she was me in flesh, wearing bones again, and her words break out through me to remind me of all the ways she didn’t falter.

Everything she did was with intention. Even now that she insists we say her name. Juliana Iwegbu. This day was bound to come. She welcomes you in these bones with words that insist on living, a picture of blackness blessed. A picture of the one she birthed. Standing in front of anything. Standing, smiling, saying nothing, doing nothing. But standing. Unapologetic for the thorns that witness how life insists on being born. That to me is motherhood, the idea of doing, being, seeing, not for yourself but for those that would speak of your ways, long after your way of seeing the world, your way of understanding it too, ends, or begins through those who now stand even in the rain.

Happy Mothers Day to all.

I stand because of so many mothers!

When flowers tell more truth, beating rain too, wild grass crumple underneath your feet, all so you never forget their itch to destroy all that makes you indestructible. See as they honor you too with subtle tones and commas, tweets, and phrases because they simply can’t fathom all they ways you survive. And yet, you always do more than survive. You do and the only thing left, are things their hunger for your ways betray. Try as they may, there will only be one you. Your dreams will come true and your bruised hands will write of all the ways you came, you did, what you came to do. Flowers and rain.

While they ignore me at their peril, I sit by my peonies known for good fortune…

I may not have planted you. I did not water you. But I love you every Spring, with the joy of a thousand seeds. I did not plant you, but in you, I uncover things long buried within, happiness, devotion, eternal Spring for a seed planted and watered with care. I did not plant you, but I soaked up your beauty, during days of pleasant dreaming. I did not plant you, but under your reign, I uncover a new being, under your shadow a new me, one open to destiny. These days, everything you see may not be my destiny, but they are the foundation, the land of my womb.

More plants are blooming!

If writing is thinking, discovering, selection, meaning, awe, and reverence. Then, how might we create a future where writing is excellence? For me, these days, writing is dreaming, like flowers, blooming.

Peonies are on their way, like writing steeped in dreams!

I see flowers taking shape all around my home. They are connecting me to a life where I stand tall and light. They are also serving as a reminder to look always at all the places and spaces where I begin again, like flowers, to bloom again. Flowers are giving me the space and opportunity to tell stories deep within me waiting to bloom. They are helping me to uncover a voice, time and space plus people almost tried to hide. Flowers see me. They see me just as I am. Naked, open, waiting for moments where I become my own. They are in the purest form, all the ways I hope my writing can be. An act of dreaming, becoming, awakening, opening, of something, sleeping, waiting, still for the moment, when we bloom. Keep flowers in spring. When they bloom, they are like writing steeped in dreams.

We are waiting eagerly!

She fried yams this morning.

Thick golden, brown yams.

Cooking teaches love, a kind of power, full for those who know themselves, those who lead.

This morning we saw a tree bend all the way down to its purpose.

Our daughter is becoming a tree full of purpose, full of power.

She fried yams this morning.

Everyone else, including her brothers are following.

Like perfectly cut yams, we see the power of becoming trees.

My daughter’s fried yams!

In a world where the life experiences of black girls are invisible, many are changing the narrative. Some honor and center their lives with stories that are empowering and transformative. Some name and define all they ways they are let down instead of uplifted, ignored rather than elevated. Still others write so that they can be seen. From they way they speak, to the words they use and in different contexts, black girls are rendered visible, with voice, with vision. Their lives are not neglected or omitted. Not ignored or dismissed. Not when they live free. Thrive free too. In spaces that elevate all that make them beautiful, loved, and blessed. A generation of people are committed to understanding what makes them happy. What brings them joy too. All the way they cry. All they ways they thrive too. Even what they do to remain in the picture, to matter, to be superior, where they belong, or anywhere else.

It’s for this reason, I want to celebrate a new feat in my daughter’s life. Her attempts at cooking for others. It may seem trivial, the act of frying yams and eggs for a morning breakfast. She didn’t have to do it either, yet she did, in the same way her mother and grandmother, plus her daddy too, have done to make breakfast on any given Saturday morning. I celebrate my daughter for for preserving and enriching our lives with her fried yams this morning. Each piece we ate is etched in my memory now of the permanence and beauty of girlhood lived in one’s own terms. Cooking to me is life, and it’s the medium through which I offer love to my family and those around me. It’s also how we preserve our culture in ways that makes sense to us. I hope this experience of frying yams on a Saturday morning remains with my daughter. I hope the lessons of this act may help her to use cooking or any other life experiences she desires, in prudent ways, to incite change with the future she desires.

Sometimes I don’t understand it. How did I make it through the storm and rain? But I see life is working for my good. Grace and the number 5, on this fifth day of May is an overflow moment for me, one that hope to never forget. To see what I have seen today, not once but five times is the stuff dreams are made up. I am determined to make new dreamers in this thing called academia and they will dream wild dreams their way. We will fail. It’s a guarantee. I promise more failures because when your dreams come true then you will be just as speechless as I have been today.

To crown it all up, wild pansies greeted my front lawn today. I am not a gardener. Every plant I keep ends up dying. Yet today, from no where, these wild pansies were in our front lawn. We have lived here for three years and to think that I have never seen them until today is again the stuff dreams are made off. To see who is behind all this, to see him high upon the throne exalted is beyond words. I will forever be thankful to all those who made the journey to get here rough. You came so close to take me in. The reason I’m here is grace. You all have a special place in my heart because this season was tough. I had to let things go, people too, just so I can openly accept all that is coming my way with no strings attached except for family. This is a quest that is only just beginning and wild pansies, with their mission of happiness, memories and spirituality are leading us all the way. Keep them.

Grateful to these beauty!

I am seeing and feeling what it means to be nestled knee deep in a winning season. This is my winning season. The enemies came from left to right, up and down to throw we off his plan. They succeeded at first with causing me to waste time. Then I remembered who ordered these steps and got right back to work. The journey for me has always been long, always been full of joy, always included hurdles, yet at the same time, even as the scales fall and dust settles, it has always been full of grace. It brought us this far, kicking and screaming as we choose life as it is lived. This is the meaning of life. The idea of remembering your origin, being aware of your limitations, yet still rising above them all. May these words, all of them I write, steal into your most innermost corners of your heart. May they also remind you of how no thoughts or theory of life can take the place life well lived. I am on the verge of letting faith, and assets within guide me as I tilt my bloom.

Image by Radiant health magazine.

I have been encouraged to dream, to do so with no filter, to stand outside in a vast field, listen as trees whispers, leaves and branches too. Just as clear-minded, just as strong. Though leaves waver with passing winds. Though branches fall off on their own, to the ground, now on their own. Yet, seeing the journey, seeing it through, whether through trees, or leaves, or branches, is the anything life lived as dreams, offer.

Keep dreams!

My baby boy hugged strangers today. I tried to stop him, but he hugged their back a little tighter. I proceeded to apologize for his touchy feely ways but the strangers, two African women turned around and hugged him back. I smiled. Then he he told them his name. Shared the name of his brother, his mother, his sister, his other brother and his grandma. The women smiled and shared the same. We were at a festival focused on tasting the best of food from a people far from home. But truly, through the eyes of my son, the eyes of two African women we met, strangers at first, we tasted the best of humanity.