Why did it take me so long to discover you, Maya Angelou?
Your name was known to me, of course. I might have even been able to give the title to your most famous work if pressed: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. But I didn’t know your words, your thoughts, your grace until very recently. What a shame.
But I am so grateful that though you don’t walk among us now in body, you will forever sing and dance and laugh in the art you have left behind. What a blessing.
I was reminded recently of the power you had to grip someone with words and emotions; to reach into someone with unexpected and loving ferocity; to pull out the greatest in everyone because you gave us all your greatest. What a woman. Phenomenal woman. That is you.
A Facebook friend of mine recently shared this quote of yours and I was struck by how much it collided with how I am being challenged these days:
How do you do it? I think I have read all the soul-shaking quotes from you I can possibly read and then get bowled over by a new gem; new to me, anyway. What a gift.
Dear Maya, thank you for continuing to love me. Thank you for continuing to astonish a mean world with your gracious self. Thank you for continuing to encourage me and millions of others to be what God has made us to be: Phenomenally ourselves. What a woman. What a poet. What a treasure you are and give, again and again.