Babalwa Mhlauli

Lovelight flower Babalwa

Crossroads - Marian Robinson

Out of many, we are one

 

"This is our moment. This is our time- to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth- that out of many, we are one; that while we breadth, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can."

 

November4, 2008, Chicago, Illinois, Upon WINNING THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES

 

Dear "First Granny"

 

How are you today?

 

I started writing this letter to you a few days before the Father of Our Nation took his last breadth. I was way too moved and had to leave it for a moment while I distracted myself by completing the latest portrait I was creating.

 

It was inspired by your dance. All this time I couldn't believe that I didn't see you dancing with the children and First Lady Michelle. At first I thought to myself am I seeing First Granny but I couldn't tell because the segment was way too short. But fortunately I managed to catch glimpse of it again and I saw you dancing. I danced too, laughing out loud just soooo ecstatic. Aaahhh what a gift! There's something about dancing that brings me closer to God and the oneness of life. I love to watch our late grandfather dance too. I heard that he said, dancing makes him feel at peace with himself and the world. When he danced he became transfigured. One saw this tall man who became this great light of love, this glowing light, so wholesome, so complete. Its almost like one could touch his soul. One automatically moved to his rhythm and just couldn't help but fall inlove with the art of dance.

 

Mothers are the pillars of our communities the world over. No nation can advance without a mother's touch and a mother's love. We know this to be true because in our country mothers fought against the pass law system which restricted the movements of African people in their own land. We also know that mothers were in the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Therefore mothers are still the cornerstones of our world. We see this in you First Granny and we admire the love and support you give to all your children and the President. The mother with quite presence yet loving, warm and caring. The world stops and marvels at a mother who's love inspires and uplift her children to be their best selves. A mother who's warmth is similar to the warmth of a hen hatching its eggs.

 

This reminds me of Dr King's Dream Speech;

 

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

 

It is the love of a mother most times that molds and shapes the character of a child.

 

Our world depends upon these interactions whose focus is deeply rooted in uplifting and nurturing the lives of children and young people especially those who are orphans and those who are neglected. Tomorrow they will remember the love they were shown. They will remember the kindness, they will remember that here was an African American Granny who came with her daughter, the very first African American First Lady, and her grandchildren. They played with us, read to us and gave us hugs. They made us feel special. Their eyes were filled with loving kindness and we leaped on wings like eagles on the play ground. This is what they will remember. And this will carry them throughout the passage of life.

 

I thank you gogo (granny).

 

Today the mood is different. We are reminded once again to emulate and embrace the teachings of our Grandfather Mandela because the future of this country lies in our hands. We are extremely grateful for these genuine moments of togetherness, humility and genuine love. The healing, the strength and pure joy that comes as a gift from God through these rare moments is truly invaluable. We don't take it lightly because we are risen to be our best selves every time we encounter beings who see straight through our hearts affirming to us that we are God's children therefore we can do whatever God created us to do with this gift of life.

 

The day I started buying different materials for this latest piece somebody gave me this hymn song that I'd like to share with you. I don't know who wrote it and I've never heard it sung before. But I love the words.

 

Bind us together, Lord

Bind us together

With cords that cannot be broken;

Bind us together, Lord,

Bind us together,

O bind us together with love.

 

There is only one God,

There is only one King,

There is only one Body-

That is why we sing:

 

Bind us together.......

 

Made for the glory of God,

Purchased by His precious Son.

Born with the right to be free:

Jesus the victory has won.

 

Bind us together.....

 

We are the family of God,

We are His promise devine,

We are His chosen desire,

We are His glorious new wine.

 

Bind us together....

 

This hymn song drives home Dr Martin Luther King's message;

 

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied into a single garment of destiny."

 

Gogo this is a Thank You note from our forefathers who sacrificed their lives so that every child will be able to walk tall in the land of their ancestors, afforded every opportunity they deserve. After all it is their birthright. They are created to grow as tall as the pine trees and flourish like grain in their chosen fields of work.

 

May the Lord continue to bless you and your entire family. It was heart warming to see the President and First Lady again in South Africa. President Obama's speech was otherworldly. It feels like a prayer and a command that came from all our heroes and ancestors who want to see every single child move forward in life. Every child well and alive, safe and protected. Full of hope and inspiration to become all that they desire to become.

 

South Africa is your home. With open arms we welcome you any time you wish to visit.

 

Thank You.

 

Love,

Babalwa.

Marian Robinson