We’re celebrating great writing here at MyBrownBaby today with the announcement of the first winner of The MyBrownBaby Beautiful Mind Writing Contest. Thank you to my guest judge Tameka of the lovely Tea & Honey Bread, who not only read all of this month’s entries on the topic, “Peace,” but donated the prize for this month’s contest—a stunning, handmade 19” copper ladder link necklace with a 2” wooden focal embellished with a Czech glass and oxidized copper blossom that she created for her Pretty in PeaceEtsy site. I encourage you to follow/subscribe to Tea & Honey Bread so that you don’t miss a word of Tameka’s stellar writing, and, if you didn’t win this gorgeous necklace, don’t fret: She’s got a plethora of beautiful pieces on her Pretty in Peace site—put one on your holiday wish list!
Finally, thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s contest; there’s nothing harder than to put up your writing for someone else to judge. I thank you for trusting MyBrownBaby with your words.
And the winner is…
The Mama Spot with The Quest
Talibah is a ridiculously talented writer whose blog was one of the first I subscribed to when I found my way online last year. Ironically, she used this contest to find her way back to blogging; she’d stopped for quite some time to focus on her other site, WeParent, an incredible resource for single moms and dads who co-parent. About Talibah's essay, Tameka said: "As I read, my inflections changed, my pace slowed with empathy and understanding... I felt a sense of peace within myself from her words...I was moved." You will be, too. Here, a snippet of Talibah’s “The Quest”:
My name means seeker of truth. All my life, I have been seeking, constantly in search of everything: my soulmate, a deeper connection with spirit, my purpose…that “it” that would have me finally certain about something, would end the search. My journey has carried me through all types of adventures, beliefs, careers, concepts and relationships. And, every time, along every single journey, I do reach a point at which I am almost certain that I have reached “it”. But inevitably some clue emerges that this isn’t quite “it”, and my search continues.
To read the rest of Talibah’s powerful essay on “peace,” click HERE.
Here, a list of the other wonderful entries (in no particular order, with links to blog posts where available):
1. MoonWritings with Clean Underwear.
I never imagined that I would leave the house in dirty underwear every morning once I started working from home, but, alas, that has become my fate. Wait. Before you begin to judge me as being nasty or the queen of TMI, I have to preface the comment with the fact that I don't just work from home, but I parent, too. And I have a spouse, who, contrary to popular belief that two makes it easier, does not help the workload when it comes to getting ready for the morning rush.
2. Yolanda Smothers with Reservation of Peace.
Peace is a place reserved for us; set aside. Just as a husband would reserve a table at a four star restaurant for he and his wife’s Anniversary or for Valentine’s Day to make the evening go smoothly. There is nothing worse than going to your favorite restaurant on that special night assuming that no one else maybe there celebrating the same thing. If everyone made reservations that would eliminate the needless wait for a table. Peace is planned.
3. Black Girl From Outer Space with Peace… I’ve finally found it.
As I sit here basking in the warmth of this glorious fall morning, sipping on a mildly cooled mug of deliciousness that is Chai Latte with just a bit of vanilla and sprinkle of cinnamon to taste and smelling of heaven trapped in ceramic. The shade of my mother’s awning keeps the sun from blinding me, and the comfortable breeze of this fall day caresses me. Often I wonder how I became lucky enough to find peace while persistently being pushed and pulled into the cold arms of chaos.
4. Yolanda Smothers with Peace Is…
Peace is waking up another day on top of the soil than six feet underneath. Peace is being closer to 36 than I was to 35 and being alright with the inevitable reality that I am growing older. It is also seeing what the old folks like to say “you wonder where the time has flown”. It is soon to be my 20 Year Class Reunion, yet it feels like I just graduated five years ago. Even some of my class mates have children who are 20 years old.
5. Mama Shujaa with The Peace Teacher.
Edith was a tall girl with a bosom the boys admired. Every day, the swish of her skirt lapped around her legs and stirred more than the boys' imaginations. Every day she allowed her jet black hair to cascade freely around her neck, framing a brown face that revealed God's mastery; everything on it perfectly structured, and eyes that suggested.
6. My Other Blog Is a Hybrid with Peace from Monkeys.
In my yoga workshop last month, I became reacquainted with a savasana pose I had probably not done since I had Marie. Years ago, I remember the instructor saying something during that pose, the exact substance of which I do not remember, that caused me to imagine a lake on my chest and control my extraneous thoughts enough to keep the water calm. (Oh god, I have no time to prepare for this hearing...no, calm lake...Do my armpits smell a little?...no, calm lake....) I remember feeling especially proud of myself for conjuring that lake, and then I gradually forgot the exercise.
7. Selassie Fynn with Peace.
I have been wrestling with the definition of peace for the past six years. It is a word that pops up in my mind everyday. I pray for peace of mind, I ask for peace of mind from friends and family members, and I even question what peace of mind is all about. The 8th of November will be the six-year anniversary of my husband’s passing. During the first two years, I couldn’t sleep for more than four hours at a time. I cannot begin to tell you what I did or thought of during my waking hours, but I can tell you I prayed endlessly for peace of mind.
I’ll be announcing a new contest in a few weeks. In the meantime, keep using your beautiful minds!