In celebration of my twenty-sixth lap around the sun, I hopped on a plane to Kansas City to soak up 72 hours of autumn leaves, falling snow, and the people who transformed the midwest into a second home. After a weekend of quality time with my fellow creatives, I felt inspired to go out on a limb and write a poem (the last poem to my name was penned in my eight-year-old “diary,” so no promises here). So, best of luck to all of us, here are a few lines about my KC homecoming:
The storm clouds of my twenties started brewing in this place,
A few glimpses of light sprinkled among moments I wish could be erased.
But a little time, a little distance, from icy winds turned sticky summers,
A little healing, some more breaking, the courage to once again embrace the wonder,
Returning to the midwest where we once grieved and held each other,
Kansas City stripped me bare, sewed me up, and taught my wings to fly.
Heartbreak’s hidden miracles are in the friendships born from empathy,
Being known, loved as you are, not in spite of what you’d rather they not see.
Your voice, it is returning, burgeoning from deep within,
Your giggle, that contagious joy, your positive spirit not dormant as they’ve been,
The community that saw an end now gifts you the strength to begin,
Year twenty-six with the assurance that you are slowly healing, bit by bit.
Sunset hayrides, backyard fires, baby cuddles, autumn leaves,
Goodness is still around you even when your heart struggles to believe.
Breathe deep, lean in, embrace your creative center,
Rest easy, your worth is not found in your career or writing ventures,
Injustice is whispering lies that we’re trapped in permanent winter,
Give thanks, you are not meant to save the whole world but to love.
Ubuntu, “I am because you are,” our wellbeing is intertwined,
Numbness to our shared humanity creates a world of the walking blind.
Jesus, he is here, inhabiting our questions and our defeats,
He’s gifted us each other, a reminder that pain will be obsolete,
Our wrestling is not over, but one day we’ll be whole, complete,
As we wait, may we trust that today is not our ending but the planting of the seeds.
By some crazy prank of time, we are already heading into 2020 (anyone else having a hard time keeping up?), and with the start of the new year I will be making a little transition on my blog. This platform has been such a sacred place to process through so much of my twenties, but as I’m starting to pursue writing more fully, I am feeling a big nudge to transition this space into a focused conversation on social justice and faith and where these two intersect. For the year of 2020, I’ll be focusing my blog solely on the concept of SHALOM: peace, wholeness, making right, restoration. In the work of social justice, it is really easy to lose sight of the the goodness that was intended for us, so this platform will be a space for us all to lean into SHALOM together. I’ll be braving a deep dive into accepting SHALOM from God, embodying SHALOM with our very lives, imparting SHALOM to others, and ushering SHALOM in our communities and places of injustice. I am really thrilled about the upcoming year of learning and writing for you (and WITH you…if anyone is interested in contributing, you are welcome to join me here), and I am hopeful that it will be a sweet start to larger, much needed conversations. I would love for you to join me and chime in with your unique thoughts on this concept of SHALOM.
And with that, I will leave you with this video montage of leaning into healing and play (thank you to all of my people for letting me awkwardly capture all of our shenanigans for the joy of a 1 second video each day):
Rylie, I love your topic and focus for 2020. My family is on some sort of parallel journey, although very different. You made a comment about “joining you” but I did not see a link. Can you help an old dude navigate this?
Keeping shining bright!!