One of the loveliest gifts I have received in our 30 years in global work is the gift of friendship. I met Fatima eight years ago. She is Nigerian and is my black kindred spirit.

We curled up on her bed,
thunder and rain making for more intimacy.
So much to catch up on, so much to express.
A year is a long time
when you haven’t shared.

Beginning a dozen conversations,
but never truly finishing any of them.
One topic leading to another,
tumbling out with tears or laughter,
like cups running over.

Her son brought in a tray
with cups of tea.
Nothing like a cup of English tea
in the middle of the afternoon
while two kindred spirits share their hearts.

Things to share that have been held in,
savored, only for those ears,
ears that hear and see,
hear and see between the lines,
but most of all know.

Concerns, joys, heartaches, silly things,
part of our living
never experienced together
only told at this precious time,
once a year.

A kindredship,
a kindredship of black and white
which knows no cultural boundaries.
Just two hearts divulging a sacred trust
called friendship.

You with your different beginnings,
your insights, your loving heart, your acceptance
of this your global working gypsy friend
who hears so much
but has so few who hear her.

I would like more,
I would love more,
but am so very grateful and humbled
for once a year.
Bless you, my dear black kindred spirit.


©2003 Thrive

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