Friday, December 30, 2016

Hanging Ubuntu on Mt. Pleasant @Hoops4HopeSA

Sometime after moving to Connecticut, while Abu, Lossine, and Rhiannon were visiting for the Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport conference with Kwame Alexander and my cousin, Mark, we went to the boardwalk at Walnut Beach in Milford, and snapped a photograph of our wrists bedazzled by Soccer4Hope and Hoops4Hope bracelets.

I've used this photo as a screensaver on my IPhone and IPad, and wondered why my older sister had it in her photo album on her phone. Christmas night, I learned exactly why. She had the photograph blown up on canvas and now it hangs, portrait style, as we're coming down the stairs. This was a phenomenal gift that I wasn't expected.

Now that I am reflecting on 2016, four years from when this photograph was taken, I can see how much the Ubuntu philosophy, one of Hoops4Hope's Skills4Life, has directly influenced my personal and professional life. My home, I hope, will continue to embrace togetherness in 2017 and highlight the importance of community when advocating literacies for young people and supporting the teachers that work with them.

Actually, the photo here is hung low, and I ended up lifting it a bit so it was more eye level as I take my first steps into the world every morning (that is, steps directly to the coffee pot).

Yesterday was a rainy, cold, and miserable day, but I got back to the gym, found time to do laundry, and started to organize for my end of the year, beginning of another, rituals.

I know that looking at Cynde's gift will start my day with a smile. It is a memory, but it also is a metaphor for the work I've loved doing in Connecticut, and hope to continue to do wherever I go.

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