Skye loves to sing. She loves music and she loves to perform, except when she's on a real stage, upon which she'll freeze into a petrified little girl. That's a juxtaposition for Skye, because at home and in class, she's a ham. She'll strike a pose vogue-style as soon as she sees a camera come out of its case. And, she'll put on shows in the living room at the drop of a hat. Her imagination is phenomenal and if the world is a stage, then she's got the starring role.
Lately, she's been singing "This Little Light of Mine." I love that song for so many reasons. The first of which is that using light as a metaphor for life is perfect. The love emanating from our spirits casts out darkness, a metaphor for evil. So, I'll always believe that there will be more light than darkness in this world.
The second reason that I love that song is that all of us have a light that is unique. When all of us bring our light to bear, the world it lit up with brilliant rainbows. As I think about what makes me unique, I'm not sure I can answer it succinctly. Everyone has a myriad of gifts and talents that together make us special. For example, I'm a left-handed, lesbian mother and writer born and raised in the great State of Maine who has a penchant for Anne Murray's music, a love for all things Caribbean (especially my wife) and an endless curiosity about the spiritual bond that connects us all. Even that definition leaves out a lot that others may throw into descriptions of me.
Finally, This Little Light of Mine, written by Harry Dixon Loes (1895-1965) in about 1920 is often thought of as a Negro spiritual. It does not, however, appear in any collection of jubilee or plantation songs from the nineteenth century. Under the influence of Zilphia Horton, Fannie Lou Hamer and others it eventually became a Civil Rights anthem in the 1950s and 1960s. And for that reason, I associate it with the courage and bravery of the men and women who marched for our civil rights and sacrificed a great deal of themselves to bring us to this point in our history.
As we turn our calendars to February and celebrate Black History Month, I am grateful to everyone who helped us evolve into a more diverse and brilliant community. We still have a long journey ahead of us, but at least we're closer to Dr. King's vision of having people judged for the content of our character, versus the color of our skin.
I hope that thinking continues to infuse the Gay Rights Movement as we still struggle to attain the same rights as our heterosexual friends. So, as Skye sings about her light and I celebrate mine, I hope we all find ways to bring our light into the world and together paint a spectacular rainbow that never ends.
- Stacy Graffam
- I'm a lesbian mom in an inter-racial relationship, living in Bergen County, NJ. My wife and I are raising two beautiful children, an eleven year-old son and a six year-old daughter. I'll be sharing our adventures in faith and parenting on a regular basis. My entries are also published in Gay Parent Magazine (www.gayparentmag.com).