Find Your Light

When my son stopped by a couple Saturdays ago, he said there was a building on fire on Underhill Avenue. The next morning we learned that the fire was caused by Jerome Isaac; he had doused 74-year-old Deloris Gillespie with an accelerant and then set her ablaze in her building elevator. After turning himself over to the police, it was reported that Mr. Isaac said he had been angered by the fact that Ms. Gillespie owed him $2,000.00. It was a horrific story…one that called for all kinds of grief and sorrow. Ms. Gillespie was dead and the “how” she died made my spirit ache.

My spirit ached and my heart grieved for this Mother and Grandmother. The next 24 hours found me revisiting the story with the usual questions: Why? How could he? What exactly is this world coming to?

Thank goodness for my mind muscle. Whenever it senses that I’m spending way too much time on the grief that news like this brings, it starts a search for my “light” mode. My mind searched my memory archives, clicked on the “unsolicited kindness” category and up popped my light.

My light came in the person of Omena El. She is a 35-year-old woman with a slender build, a positive aura and the skin of someone who cares about what she eats. I met her briefly at the Brooklyn Museums’ First Saturday; she had ten children in tow for the “Tap Dance Through Harlem Renaissance” program.

I met with her again for breakfast about a week later…she chatted about graduating from Norfolk State, about being a certified nutritionist and how she was working on putting the finishing touches on a book she plans to call Food for Thought. She said she was Brooklyn born and raised and had recently moved to Harlem with her daughter, her significant other and his son. They were among the ten children she had with her that evening; the rest of them belonged to friends she has known for years.

As our chat continued, I learned that she had taken these children for a weekend to give her friends a much-needed break. Friday night they watched videos, and then they videoed each other singing and dancing and hamming it up. A visit to the Schomberg Library in Harlem was planned for early Saturday but was scrapped because of time constraints. (Waking, bathing, dressing and doing breakfast for ten children {ranging in age from 5 to 9} was a lot more time-consuming than Omena bargained for).  Early evening found them on the train to the Brooklyn Museum and the tap dance program….. I spotted them on the line for tickets holders…. all dressed up and clearly excited about being out on the town so near to bedtime. The best part of that evening for me came when the performers invited the audience up on the stage for some free style tap dancing. Those children were not shy and they threw themselves into dancing as if they knew a performance was gonna be requested. I sat there beaming at them as if they were my own.

Omena El could have spent that weekend a dozen different ways – all of them could have revolved around her plans, her needs, her personal goals – but instead she chose to do something for others. The children got a chance to learn something about their culture that was fun and memorable and their parents got a chance to relax and re-energize. Hers was an act of unsolicited kindness. Her shine had a positive effect on the children, their parents and me.

Her story did not make front page in the newspapers. Stories like that seldom do, but they are so very necessary if we want to create balance between the negative and positive. Remembering her helped me to regain balance.

Real talk: In the world we live in there will be no shortage of tragic stories and you don’t have to go looking for them either…they are fed to us repeatedly by regular media sources, but as 2012 unfolds it might be a good idea for us to seek balance in the stories we absorb. I invite you to join me in looking around for the Omena El’s in your life. I invite you to find your light. I invite you to be a light.

Wishing the best for you and yours from me and mine,
Ms. Peaches

~ by livefromheadqcourterz on January 4, 2012.

21 Responses to “Find Your Light”

  1. In reading this article about myself, through the clear, visual, and inspiring words by Mrs. Peaches, I was truly gloating in excitement not just because she was writing about me ( Honestly I had to double check mentally to make sure that she was really basing this article around me) but because of the perspective she took. There are sooo many people living very ordinary lives who DO extraordinary things without expectation of praise.

    I know for me, I was just acting in my natural state as a Light Being and dear friend. The way Mrs. peaches vividly captured that whole weekend, was concise and AMAZING, to say the least. I can’t quite put into words the APPRECIATION, GRATITUDE, and EXCITEMENT, I felt reading this entry. I love the way she bridged the emotional aspect one must feel when having a personal relation to the lost or tragedy of a neighbor, loved one, or someone influential in the community. Where do most of us find our Light when dark things occur. when people are acting out of fear from an illusion.

    In this moment I AM Inspired to know and BE… in the graces of another DIVINE spirit. Mrs. peaches you truly have a gift and insight, and comfort in your writing, kin your words. More Importantly, you are a KEEN listener and I AM soooo Thankful for the organic, way you relayed my story of a loving act of humanity and being in the service of my Higher Consciousness. Learning from and Teaching these Lil light beings bring me BLISS!

    As an aspiring blogger I AM Inspired to continue with my writing entries. Beaming you More Love, Light, and Endurance to forever share your gift of insight, counsel, and writing with the WORLD!
    Omena El.

    Speaking of insight, I’d love to get your creative and professional feedback on my blog http://www.OmenasLoveBliss.Blogspot.com

  2. As always, Love it! I pray I can be the “Omena” in someone’s life!

  3. I really liked this. Ms. Peaches has just picked up a loyal reader. Great subject, Great insight and the perfect length for short attention span readers such as myself. LOL THANKS Ms Peaches for writing and the Big Hommie Gordon for sharing. 

  4. When I first started reading this i thought this is really sad, but the turn around was uplifting-shining the light on something good-I mean how can you inspire someone to do good if they never hear/read about it ACTUALLY happening to everyday people….hell Angelina Jolie aint the only person in the world to entertain a bunch of kids or do something good. Thank you Ms. Peaches I am inspired

  5. THE LIGHT IS ENHANCED BY THE DARKNESS
    ^^^^^
    HAVING MOVED FROM MY BELOVED BROOKLYN BIRTHPLACE TO SOUTH CAROLINA, I FOUND IT BOTH SAD AND DISTURBING THAT JEROME ISAAC COMMITTED THIS SAVAGE, SADISTIC AND OUTRAGEOUS ATTACK IN AN AREA I ASSOCIATE WITH THE SPIRIT AND ENERGY THAT REFLECTS THE GREATNESS OF BROOKLYN.

    THE SECURITY CAMERA’S CAPTURING OF HIS ATTACK WAS TOO INSANE TO SEEM REAL TO ME. IT LOOKED LIKE THE OUT-TAKES FROM A SECOND RATE HORROR MOVIE.

    HOW YOU COULD RECOUNT THE MONSTEROUS EVENT AND PROCEED TO DELIGHT AND ENLIGHTEN US WITH A POSITIVE MESSAGE IS A MYSTERY TO ME. I FEEL I NEED TO READ THIS ARTICLE AGAIN AND SEE HOW I STARTED A JOURNEY IN HELL AND ENDED UP IN OZ.

    THE DARKNESS OF YOUR BEGINNING SERVED TO MAKE THE LIGHT OF THE CHILDREN AND THEIR MOTHER / MENTOR SHINE EVEN BRIGHTER.

    YOU DEMONSTRATED YOUR PREMISE VERY CLEARLY — WE HAVE TO LOOK FOR AND APPRECIATE THE GOODNESS AROUND US – IT WON’T MAKE THE SAME HEADLINES AS THE EVIL DEEDS.

  6. This piece was really a Good read!! I’m looking forward to more you definately have what it takes to do this writing thing!!! I’ll be your biggest supporter🙂

  7. Just what I needed after receiving bad news minutes before i received this email.

  8. Thank you for always helping me see there are tons are great things in life!

  9. Quality of life, is all about balance. It’s unfortunate that WE can only truly appreciate Sister Omena’s gesture after being overexposed to a plethora of despicable acts. As a communications major, I know how & why the news is presented to us. As you eluded to, we will have to seek “feel good” stories or create our own. Change starts from within. If everyone that read this article is inspired by Onena

  10. *continued* we should challenge ourselves to be more selfless. Then, we would know how much good giving does for the soul.

  11. Laughing at the Angelia Jolie comment left by Kim King. I’m sure Omena had the little black girls looking presentable at the Brooklyn Museum and not the hot mess Mrs Jolie has those kids hair looking.

  12. Nice post. Loved the transition from horror to love. What’s is ironic is these negative and positive situations told in this blog all took place roughly three blocks apart. Never let negative events define our community. Surely people found out about this negative event and immediately said this neighborhood is going to hell, unaware of the magic that was taking place three blocks away.

  13. Video is a great match to the blog…I noticed that last post with the T.R.O.Y video associated with the last blog. Someone is a true hip hop head!

  14. It’s funny, yesterday I was contemplating buying a gossip mag and said to myself, “why do I care, why do I keep reading about these people I don’t know.” Meanwhile, someone at work asked me about something that happened in the news (the whole drama with Lowes and their sponsorship of the Muslim in America show, and I had no idea what he was talking about). A little of the gossip is entertaining, but I’ve decided it’s mostly a waste of my time and I am going to work on finding balance in the stories I read and info I fill my head and time with.

    Thanks for sharing your light Ms. Peaches!

  15. great read as usual glad to see you back shining the light always. Very uplifting

  16. everyone wants recognition..even the non celebs. That’s why there is face book. shameless self promotion!

  17. “In the world we live in there will be no shortage of tragic stories and you don’t have to go looking for them either…they are fed to us repeatedly by regular media sources, but as 2012 unfolds it might be a good idea for us to seek balance in the stories we absorb.”

    Wow, that is so intriguing. Media eats off of these stories of tragedy, violence, and things of that nature, and it got the masses unconsciously goin’ insane. I’ll have my Omena El moment one day, as I hope many more do as well from today goin’ on to infinity. However, in my opinion at least, I can’t expect the Omena Els to come thru for me in my life, cuz the Omena Els are best effective when least expected. Peace & one..

    Berto (@B_soulful)

  18. I’ve seen your kind before Ms Peaches. You and that Brooklyn angel are a extention of the right hand of God. Some stand in the darkness looking around for the light. Others understand that sometimes you have to move to the light or be the light. Ms Peaches, I have noticed that your writings always move to the light. Ms Omena is unmistakably just straight up 150 watts of light.
    It is your kind that make this world a better place to live.
    Did God give you guys premission to come down to earth?
    Please stick around, we need ya!

  19. I really enjoyed this piece Ms Peaches! I will definitley be (1) of your Biggest supporter!

  20. I love your reflections, always insightful. My problem is why don’t you write at lease once a week. Looking for more replies.

    JazzEmpress@aol.com

  21. I’m late…but you bought a smile to my face Ms. Peaches. Hopefully we can all take your words on board and rekindle our lights…

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