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  • Hettie Barnhill

Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Cornbread, and Lamb.


Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Cornbread, and Lamb.

This tradition, I am continuing.


This is the tradition that has been in our family for generations. We will be indulging in southern cuisine that feeds the good luck, blessings and soul for our new year. As my mother prepares this meal, I am preparing to be a mother, for the first time. Walking towards the new year with quiet confidence.


I teach this a lot in my classes, having quiet confidence… But this is one phrase that takes on many different meanings. For me, going into a new year, 2019, feels a little different than past celebrations. This year feels more focused and honest. My body, my life, has been compromised by a force so strong, I know I’m not in control, even the slightest. My hubby and I have realized this, more and more. In one way, I feel like I am following into this new year, and not leading. Honestly, it feels good. It is because of this feeling, that I have to prepare myself more potently, in smaller capacities. Choosing what I let affect me down to my core, while responding to things that can only truly serve me. It sounds selfish, I’m sure, but not really. I am doing this for someone else entirely… This baby. My baby.

When I walk towards, in, and through, 2019, the goodness will be there to give my taste buds some satisfaction. Presenting scents that make each hair follicle on my body rise. Creating memories that will be timeless. I am thankful for the goodness 2019 will present in advance, and I want to be in a place of awareness, so that I can fully experience it.


I want to savor it.


Treat it with care.


Prolong it and not greedily devour it, expecting more.I want to appreciate each gift of good that is brought my way….our way. It is still surreal to say ‘our’ and not ‘my’. This little nugget floating in my tummy, is the pure definition of change.


But, to every ‘yin’ there is a ‘yang’. I know 2019 will not just be one huge bowl of greatness. The “not so good” will also follow, surrounding and shocking my reality. The ugliness in the world does not go away with a new year. It grows. I will not pretend pain, and hate do not exist. Pretending is part of the problem. I am not speaking it “into” reality, rather I am speaking truth “about” my reality. As long as I am living, I will be fortunate to experience all of the opposition that this world has to offer. Instead of letting the unknown, stop me, I must walk towards it. Instead of letting the pain fester, I must be equipped with self care for healing. Instead of letting the gloom of others rain on me, I must allow my quiet confidence to radiate as a protective shield.


I am a 34 year old potent black woman.


I am having a baby…and we are headed towards the new year…


Quietly and confidently.