Mother River Monongahela

Reflections on Releasing the Sunbox Writings

How to thank this place for everything it has given?

It is a mother of sorts. It has cried over me and lived up to its name of banks and higher ground.

It has brought the south to my north. Reminded me that it was the south which made me and the south where my people made themselves free.

The Sunbox collection of writing is an offering to this place and what it has taught me about living beyond survival.

You can endure so many things being thrown at you. Things of steel and iron. And still rise flowing unstoppable in your own direction. And you shouldn’t have to. Resilience is too often a backhanded compliment. Unintentional but aggressive.

The low points have been too low. But never was there one where a Black woman didn’t reach out her hand and lift me skyward.

The highlights have been sunshine at midday solstice high. Bright.

Mecca thank you for those groceries. Nena thank you for believing. Karen thank you for delivering the babies. Dani thank you for couch convening. My amazing daughters for everyday everywhere everything. There are too many of you to name in this little room. Ruth, you too.

I’m grateful. There are things I wish I had known. Like how many times I should not have let people separate me from God. Like how religion isn’t something people should take or give to you. Rivers know this. Like how many times I should have given silence instead of an opinion. Like how words aren’t something people take or give to you. But they will if you let them. Rivers know this too.

This place is a survivor. It’s a box in a basement that someone tried to forget. No dangling. They tried to forget both. But the sun still shines here.

So whether Black women stay or choose to go to the anywhere else, we will have our light.

This Sunbox collection of writing is my little light. Alive and flowing. May I make myself free.

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