Can we “tawk” about this year that is seared into our souls for all the trauma we endured in it?
Don’t y’all cook ONE black eyed pea, a leaf of collard greens, clean the house or follow none of the usual traditions, ‘cause that mess did nothing to stave off the madness that was 2020! Unexplainable earthquakes going on for months on end, and popping up in random places all across Puerto Rico; the entire West Coast of the United States almost burned to a crisp with record breaking fires that raged and seemed to have NO end in sight. Triple hurricanes at once within hours of each other that took turns devastating Louisiana and Texas. There were so many of said hurricanes this season, we had to go into the Greek alphabet to name them all.
Then, there is “Rona.” Yes, I am sick and tired of talking about COVID-19 too, but check it out — it was this invisible terrorist of our lungs that brought the entire world to a standstill, and left millions sick and dead with little hope in sight, until these two new vaccines that were developed so quickly our collective heads spun came into being. Just as we began to breathe a little easier, word has begun spreading that the coronavirus has mutated into a far more easily transmissible strain, so it will have some words for us in 2021, too. Lord have mercy on our tired souls.
We fought over toilet paper, paper towels, masks, and meat shortages in early spring. We searched in vain for disinfectant wipes and forgot that a $4 bottle of bleach along with regular soap and water, WORKS!
Speaking of masks — having to wear them all the time has made some of you aware that a visit to the dentist is long overdue.
It is hard to smell your own breath while talking to others, but those masks removed all doubt. If you have a fear of the dentist, tell them to sedate you and hope for the best. Moving on…
Did we discuss the uprisings and protests across the country? Because some of y’all felt it was okay to keep killing Black folks with impunity and saying you “feared for your life” while we were handcuffed on the ground with your knee in our neck, glibly choking the life out of us.
Something snapped in the psyche of Black folks and awakened many white ones, and despite the fear of a deadly virus, putrid and undeniable anger outweighed it, and those protests went on for months.
That cauldron of anger led to unprecedented voter registration and an election that was contested long after a winner was declared at the national level.
Record level unemployment, housing evictions and hunger, rounded out this year that felt like hell on steroids and there has been an uptick in suicides.
The year has been so crazy that lantern flies and wasps as big as our palms barely register now, and Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash seems like a vague memory.
One more thing — selfishness and hatred was on full display too, and opened many eyes about folks we THOUGHT had common sense. Chile… the flip side? We found and practiced grace and kindness in spades. Thank God, for we needed to see a glimpse of what is still good in humanity.
My motherly advice? Dust those ashy knees off, open your mouths at 11:59 p.m. and offer up prayers of thanksgiving for crossing the fire baptized threshold into 2021. Do it with a quiet urgency, too, ‘cause there is no telling what parts of 2020 will drag forth into the new year.
Now, excuse me while I find my sackcloth and ashes in preparation…
Happy New Year and all that jazz.