Fourteen years ago my life changed forever.

Standing at a dark bus stop tired from a Long day at the town that served up fresh kicks with a swoop on the side, kinda like bangs these days. And the air up there in my first pair of twenty threes had me stepping to a new melody.

So I see him.

He may as well have been beating his chest the way my spirit begged me to start a conversation with him.

Oversized coat and hoody hiding the perfectly chiseled six pack that looked as if he had been on the potters wheel too long.

He was beautiful. Only I didn’t know it yet. The rugged outter appearance had me looking with the wrong set of eyes. All I did know was as my stop approached I needed to prolong this encounter. So I blurted out numbers that had him dialing at the end of his trip to make sure the numbers he committed to memory were accurate.

He showed me life.

God used him.

See the religion I was raised in that ‘encouraged’ us not to go to college also saw many youth being home schooled. So I had no way to know about Zora Neale Hurston. I never knew a Harlem Renaissance existed until I was nineteen years old.

But as we read chapter by chapter of their eyes were watching God, my eyes opened to the fact that maybe my God was bigger than the one confined in my box of religion.

Next stop. Hip hop you the love of my life. He showed me poetry.

A black notebook and silver ink had us sharing intimate details of life via poetry, syllables that shared rhythm almost melodically.

I fell in love.

I think he did too.

He showed me he did with three roses. One pink for thanks. One yellow for our friendship. One red for love.

Yes. I still call him friend. Yes. He will always be my first love.

That love was built on a rocky foundation that helped mold me into the woman that loves black literature, and will pen a seven minute poem and still will choose hip hop. Real hip hop over R&B, House, or Reggae.

But I just love music. So check check my melody. One two one two. Ficky. Ficky.

I once wrote him a poem saying if I couldn’t have comfy like a quilt I would never settle for shallow like a shawl. So I never had to. I didn’t want to and I chose not to.

I know what real love feels like.

His protection of me even in my wrongdoing. And coming to my job to get me almost every day after work until we became co workers.

Yes. That man did all of the things Steve Harvey says a man will.

Money was never a problem for me. So he provided a new state of mind from what I had been conditioned to believe. He gave me my first I don’t care attitude. When I would speak about ‘them’ kicking me out. He said forget people. It’s about you and God.

I loved him more.

I understood who I was as a woman and where my strengths lie.

He was always generous with compliments.

There are things in life that will hurt us.

We fought and made up. Loved and lost. We were good and bad. If I regaled every account of nearly ten years on and off I would be writing the book I always wanted to write but never released the pain in my heart from losing what I once thought would be my end all be all. But God. But New Life. But as time heals and understanding sets in there are some people that are planted in our lives just to show us a better way. Show us love when the rest of the world says we don’t deserve it.

Everyone can’t hear Gods voice clearly.

I have learned. I can show a model of love because I have been shown a model for love. And if I show the ones I encounter, I may never know how I impact their lives.

But love encounters always change people.

One though. Now. I hope forever.

Everyone else to be better for their next set of people.

This love movement is for real. I speak it I live it. A smile or a greeting to the faces I connect with coming down the street. In the hood or downtown, I show love. A greeting to the person I share a seat with in public transportation.

See I used to want to be like ‘PAC. A revolutionary. You know real Assata Shakur style. Then I realized, all we really need is love.

It softens the hardest hit blows.

So to my words. I challenge you all to be positive and uplifting for 100 days. I am finally joining the movement. Since my words are spirit and life who can I be used to bring back as I once was.

My job in life is to pay it forward while being grateful for the things I learned from those left behind.

Yes. Assignments shift. Prayers get answered and my inner circle rarely stays the same. My love always will.

I mean how do you grow if you are always in the same place?

Exactly. Living a life of stagnancy is like asking my spirit screaming for elevation to simply die.

I cannot. My Savior came so I could live and live life more abundantly. So I will.

Every journey isn’t meant for everybody. But its all in how one handles departures or seeks forgiveness that determines whether or not they return.

So love continuously. Not for necessity. Or obligation. Or acknowledgement. It is my movement for the pleasing of my Father in heaven.

Someone special once told me the only thing constant in life is change.

So embrace it.

A flowing river never stops nourishing the living things along it’s path.

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