By Donnecia Brown
God of the meantime, draw us near in the currency of now. Gift us the sweetness of ease as we remember that nothing will be the same and yet all moments exist within you.
Divinity of the becoming, grant us the staying power that we might remain in our bodies. Meet us at the gathering of childlike curiosities.
May the sacred missions embedded within collective storytelling hold us in truth as the systems that intrude our memories of being are disarmed.
My maternal grandmother stood on the front porch, smiling and waving. “I am creative,” she joyfully affirmed. “That pie just came to me. I had in my mind that I wanted to make it. It was my first time. Most people don’t think that you can make a pumpkin pie taste like a sweet potato but it’s possible. It’s the spices, really. Add em’ to your liking.” After a moment of easeful pause, I reaffirmed, “you are creative. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.” My grandmother’s new pie recipe reminded me of my own creative cultivation. I have been praying for my benevolent foreparents. I understand that my healing is intimately connected to those that came before me. I pray for them just as I pray for myself, reverently. Spirit-based offerings portend the sustainability of care. What is the metric for the right amount of spice and sweetness? What palette of glory informs the texture of intergenerational healing? Mother Vergie’s affirmation of self-reverence opened a portal within my connection to ancestral memory. I am reminded of the pies I made while sitting in the Carolina backwoods of her home. Right-hand stirring sweetness. Left hand over your heart. Center your breath and prepare your contributions.
Recipe for one of my pies from the memory of my 6-year-old self:
- Creek Water
- Soft stones
- Wild violets
- Quartz crystals from the driveway
- Soil from each corner of the land
- Harmonies of robins and bluejays
- Dragonfly symphonies for the gifts of communication
Truthfully, I don’t remember whom or what I offered these pies to but I remember saying “thank you. I hope this tastes good.” I left the pie on a large rock by the creek in the yard and came back after eating snacks. Deep belly laughs at the communications from creatures of the creek who responded enthusiastically to my affirming self-talk. “We like it. Mmm. This is so good,” I said to myself.
Some of the synchronicities that we encounter within nature reflect the theologies of those younger versions of ourselves. Waves of imagined belonging by way of land greet us in the remembrance of organic systems. I am reminded of how expansive my childlike regard for kinship has grown in spiritual companionship. Nature spirits from my childhood met me in the clearing. I made due with covenants from other realms. When we exegete the land, we remember ourselves. What thus says the cannon of your inner child? Explore with them. Who challenges the archetypes that inform our collective consciousness? Offerings from childhood lend themselves to the divinity unfurling within us. Are your memories being performed or embodied?
Receive the throughlines of wisdom held securely in the intercessions of spiritually well ancestors who championed themselves by resting in the assurance of your arrival. What is the essence of present help arriving at the truth of being? Consider how your creativity sustains you in tending more justly with yourself. Ancestral memory is a balm for the stories we tell ourselves of our becoming. Call back, call forth, and extend invitations for the improvisation of divine creative solutions that inform your being. We are not meant to do life alone. Generational abandonment wounds are healed when we are receptive to the witness of our younger selves. Consider the stories calling to the frequency of your songline. Harmonies flow in the reciprocity of affirmation. You are incredibly creative, too. May you encounter new ways of being as you tend your stories.
Donnecia conjures from wholeness and abides in love. She is a survivor that provides care as an artist, crisis counselor, trauma-informed spiritual practitioner, and autoethnographic griot. Her labors of love prioritize Black women, Black children, and Black queer folks. The frameworks of their servant leadership are anchored within theologies of liberation. As an ethic, she believes survivors. Over the last decade, Donnecia has worked as an organizer, rape crisis companion, and domestic violence advocate. She is currently working toward her Master’s of Divinity at Meadville Lombard Theological School.