Amber Atonement

Njideka Akunyili Crosby--Re-Branding My LoveGrace and I are in nature again, and my heart is already glad. This is the right place for true atonement this year, I can feel it in the gratitude and lower-case grace suffusing my limbs, abdomen, cheeks. Wriggling my toes. The drive here was full of the colors that only fill museums and graffiti when I’m in the city; the air like nothing when I fling open my apartment window. I know the divine is everywhere but sometimes it’s so much easier to greet it when you walk unfettered by blocks, squired by swanning trees. Grace feels it too. She barely complained as we drove upstate and when we arrived–the sun sinking golden and amber below the horizon; other fireplaces sharing their smoke so tantalizingly–she raced gleefully from room to room, screeching to a halt on the screened-in porch with her tail trembling, tiny nose twitching. It was like she was saying, “This!” I blinked many times at her: “Yes, this.” She crept into my lap, sweetly shy kitty. I’ve been trying for weeks to teach her to say yes–oddly, she has mastered the “n” sound, so like an angry 2-year-old she bleats “no” whenever I squeeze too tightly or nudge her off a surface. Here, as we forgive and ask for forgiveness, as we tune into the heavens visible only in squares and patches back home, I think my overfamiliar will finally trumpet that yes. G’mar Hatima Tova, which is to say: May you be sealed in the Book of Life. Let’s say the Book of Love while we’re at it. Yes.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy