Saturday, December 31, 2011

Still Waters Run Deep

For months I’ve been wanting to sit down and write something intriguing. The year 2011 was full of significant events, both personal and global, so it’s not as if there was a shortage of things to write about. However, on this New Year’s Eve I am left with an unimpressive collection of writings to show for the year. At times I would start something, but the most that would come of it were some half-scribbled notes strewn about somewhere. On other occasions I had some worthy thoughts to share, but I had neither the energy nor time to commit any of them to writing. It’s been tough not being able to express myself as much and when compared to last year when I wrote prolifically, 2011 might seem like a silent river rolling through time. Yet as the old proverb goes, “still waters run deep”. For those on the “river banks” looking in, the true greatness and bounty of 2011 was what actually lay beneath the surface of my life.

2011 was the biggest year of my life. It was the year I purchased my first home. It was the year I ran my first race. It was the year I got engaged to my beautiful Empress. Finally, and most significantly, it was the year that she and I married and became one before the Almighty. All of these huge blessings came so naturally, but also so unexpectedly. Looking back several years ago, I would have had no premonitions at all. Even in 2010, where there were hints of things to come, I still wouldn’t have been able to fully grasp it all. Normally, I have at least some words to express myself on landmark events, especially when it comes to my own life. Yet, all I could do was just soak it all in, and absorb the love and the good fortune that I was experiencing every single day. It has been a year of giving thanks for all that I have.

How can one describe the most momentous day of his life? How do you capture the emotions, the nuances, and every single note of the symphony of blessings that played? You can’t. No photographs, videos, or written accounts can capture the absolute brilliance of that day in early October. Our wedding was amazing. We worked so hard to make it what we had hoped it to be, a joyous start to our lives together. We were the creators of our union... fusing our love for each other, our spirituality and love for JAH, our roots and culture, our families and our friends all together into a celebration that was more than we could have imagined. Moreover, we were blessed in so many ways that were completely out of our control, including having the most spectacular weather. It wasn’t a fairy-tale wedding with fanfare and ridiculous expenses like 2011’s British Royal Wedding. It wasn’t a typical wedding like you see in magazines or television shows. Rather, it was our own reality, our values, our design, our vows. It was the celebration of a lifetime for the union of lifetime. Even if things had not gone as we planned, the outcome would have still been the same, and nothing would ever or could ever keep my Empress and I apart. No power on earth could ever keep us from being bound together in love and unity. Of course... that was all the easy part. It was all in the hands of the Most High!

A lesson that I quickly learned is that becoming a married man means having additional responsibilities and an abundant amount of patience. In fact, a few days earlier I was joking with friends that you truly aren’t a man until you become a married man (and yes, I’ve been reminded that having children will redefine living once again). It’s not just about living for yourself anymore and doing anything that you want as long as you have the means and time to do it. Being married makes things completely different. I now think as a couple and I play the game of life a little more tactfully. For me, 2011 has meant having financial obligations that I never had to cope with before, making decisions and compromising on issues that I would not have had to consider. Being married has even changed my vernacular, it’s not “I” or “me” anymore, it is “us”, “we”, yes, it is I&I! Despite it all, it has not been all that difficult (although I’m sure that I can reflect on this more accurately next year). More than anything, it has been time consuming.

So while I have been adjusting to the responsibilities that come with being a married man, the world has kept turning. Politically, there have been huge changes in the world. It was the year of the “Arab Spring” with revolutions and uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Osama Bin Laden was killed, so was Muammar Qaddafi. Kim Jong Il died. South Sudan became the world’s newest country. All types of natural disasters reminded us that we humans are just one small part of the world: earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, hurricanes, and epic snow storms. Also, we cannot forget about the terrible ongoing famine in Somalia (it seems that it only survived news headlines for a few days). Back in America we have had protests and demonstrations of our own with the Occupy Movement in response to the economy and unemployment. Politicians and candidates claim to have solutions to the nation’s problems but they continue to blunder and argue like fools. 2011 was a year of shifting tides, but the seas are still stormy and there will be much to reflect on in 2012.

Still waters run deep, and I’ve been too still this past year to get too deep into any other thoughts, but I do end this year with the prospect of making positive changes in the year to come. I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do hope to settle into my new lifestyle a little more and bring balance. I hope to write more and reflect more. I hope to be more patient and more organized. I hope to spend more time with JAH, giving thanks and praises. I hope to grow more with my wife and my entire family in a positive way. I hope to make it to Africa. Whatever comes in 2012, I know that life is as good as we make it... so I say to make the most of it, and God will handle the rest. 2012 has a negative stigma to it because of Mayan calendars and Nostradamus prophecies, but you can’t live in fear and negativity. Better must come. Live up, live good, and be the change you want to see in the world.

One Love & Happy New Year,