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  • Writer's picturevilmablenman

February Finale

It’s the last day.

I remember the first day when my computer switched from 2023-01 to 2023-02 and myriads of emails began landing in my inbox announcing things happening during Black History Month.

So now it’s ending—that short, bittersweet month.

It’s true. I have a strange kind of relationship with February. I welcome the opportunities to reflect on my African heritage, learn more about Black Canadian history—there’s always a new documentary or book or article, feel the pride of belonging to a people who have bequeathed me gifts of resilience and faith in a God of justice and redemption. On the other hand, February stirs all sorts of emotions—sad, mad, glad.

February triggers me. I still get sad about Black slavery and its ongoing generational trauma centuries later, trauma that shows up in the decimation of the Black family in diaspora, in the demise of Black males who overpopulate jails, and in the struggles for social justice still echoed in the protest mantras of Black Lives Matter advocates.

I’m mad when I think about the slowness of certain changes. Why is there a new media buzz about a new video and another mother crying at a press conference, the face of her son in the background?

I’m glad my church is hosting a Black History Month celebration event—its first. Progress.

Clearly my February feelings are conflicting. How about you?

I’m sorry to see February go but I welcome the madness of March with its neutrality and mixture of winter and spring. As I turn the calendar on my kitchen wall, I recall images and examples of time turning inexorably on its wheel. The tides turn daily. So do the clocks on the microwave and stove. Sunrise turns into sunset.

And I must turn and be about all my Creator calls me to do and be.

I hope you’ve had a fully lived February. I wish you the best as you move into March. Here’s to endings and beginnings on February ‘s finale.

February Feelings

February comes suddenly,

landing in my email box exactly after midnight

January 31st when red and green

Christmas décor still hang on doors

and stores still discount December’s stocks.

Outside snowstorms protest, stopping city traffic

oblivious it’s Black History Month.

It's February–the month we reflect on the road travelled, celebrate the milestones reached,

and unveil portraits of the great ones.

We say their names: Martin, Mandela, Rosa, Maya, Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, Toni Morrison

and many more too numerous to list.

From curated playlists, we sing the blues,

rhyme raps, shout soca, chill with jazz or rock with reggae.

We read or re-read the books, watch documentaries, discuss, and

attend myriad memorials capturing the opulence of Black excellence.

And though I live Blackness January 1st to December 31st,

sometimes I don’t know what to do with these

February feelings.

They collide like lime and honey in the same teaspoon

touching the tongue at the same time sending

sweetness and bitterness to the brain.

When February comes calling bringing his-story,

please tell me how to be.

Do I mourn or do I dance?

Vilma Blenman

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