amberBy Amber Cullen a member of Mission Year Team Member in Philadelphia.

I’m drivin’ down the highway at 65mph
And I’m lookin’ out on the plains, the beautiful Ohio plains
With trees standing solitary in the middle of the vastness
And the sky so blue like the most satisfying drink of water
And the tires are pounding the pavement and my hair is out and
All at once I’m laughing, tears flying, exhilarated to be—just be.
Not like the world is any less painful or that things are any less messed up
Or like somehow I’ve convinced myself that these plains are the escape from it all
Because it all is still here (right here) and everything is still hard
But for now Ima sit with the rhythm of the plains and just be.

My spirit is drinking up the joy of pounding on a djembe
And singing with a fullness that fills the car
And I wonder if they’ll pull me over for drummin’ while driving
But I just can’t contain myself and there’s no one around anyway
Just me and a djembe and roads and plains as far as the eye can see
And I laugh because this is beauty and I laugh because this is life
Where my spirit remembers that it is made with the fragility of dust
But also knows that it’s made with the resilience of the earth
That has been pounding beats for millennia
And I remember that I will continue on and we will continue on
And our song is not yet done.

You know me all too well because you gifted the pulsing warm sun
And the expansive plains and the whisper of a breeze on my face
And the djembe in the car
And the narrow footpath between the trees that led down to the surprise river
Where you whispered the most intimate of belongings to my soul
And at the river’s edge among the rocks I laughed as I cried because you know me
And I laughed as I cried because you haven’t forgotten the song of my soul
And I laughed as I cried because the you are the water that draws me into knowing
That being is the cultivating of resilience
And our song is not yet done.

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