When You Need a Break

I don’t do it often, and I’m far from being an expert, but gardening is in my blood. My father was a gardener for most of his working life, before he retired. Now, his full-time calling is working with those working the twelve steps.

We all have a calling. Something we eat, breathe, and yearn for.

But no matter what our vocation, sometimes we just need a break, as I was reminded recently in this wonderful new essay by Tina McElroy Ansa. “It is the continuity of gardening in my life that keeps the flow of nature moving in the direction of fullness, of reproduction, of creativity, of life,” writes Ansa.

They were just the words I needed to finally get going after months of procrastination. To finally pull those weeds I’d meant to pull last April, and get on with my summer okra, cherry tomatoes, and green peppers.

I’m so proud to be part of the launch of @Zoramag @Medium, a place for writing for and about women of color, which is where I found Ansa’s essay this week.

And speaking of needing a break, that’s exactly what I wrote about in my own essay for Zora, which is about those moments and days, when some of us just want to forget about race altogether. It’s called “I Need a Break from Being a Woman of Color.”  Thank you, Zora (and Vanessa) for letting me express these thoughts freely, and for so many other wonderful essays. Like this must-read from my good friend Tatsha about “How to Raise a Smart Black Woman.” And a fascinating inside view in “The Highs and Lows of Life as a Black Editor in Chief” by Elaine Welteroth. And this gem from Black-ish star Yara Shahidi, “My Generation Can Learn a Lot from James Baldwin.”

Recovery, rest, and rejuvenation haven’t always been my strong suit. But I’m getting there.

In my garden.

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