I recall fond childhood memories of Sunday mornings eating breakfast, washing up, and dressing in my tailored garments, sewn by my mother. We would be headed down County Road 29 to Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Orville Alabama. It was a small white church — the kind that is seen in rural areas; ones you see but do not see. There were about twenty-five members in the congregation. We were all families from surrounding areas. We were woven like a basket. The church did not have air conditioning, so we would let the windows up, hoping and praying for a fresh breeze to cool things down. I will never forget the rhythms of the deacon’s prayers nor the melodies of the hymns. They were filled with the Holy Spirit! What some call – the Light; and this was the place where I was first immersed in the light and learned how to let it shine.
The people holding their heads up high would sing a cappella ‘This Little Light of Mine’. We did not always sing the verses in the same order; we sung it according to what the song leader was sensing in the Spirit realm. Clapping our hands, swaying from side to side and tapping our feet on those hardwood floors we set the rhythm. They who could not stand sat, everyone else stood. A few of the people sitting waved their hands. Others closed their eyes with their heads swaying back and forth, testifying how good God had been. They would praise God for supplying their needs and guiding them through tumultuous days and anxious nights. Some praised God for being so merciful. Some thanked God for being Jehovah-Rapha in the sick room and Elohim in the courtroom. Those were just a few things to paint a picture for you. People praised God for everything regardless of the oppositions they faced. They chose to let the good shine within them and did not retaliate in anger. They taught me to always let the goodness in me shine out no matter how bad things get, we must always remember to let our good Light shine.
As I look back over my life, I am very grateful for those teaching at my Mother’s knee. Sometimes I find it difficult to live in the now, know myself, and sustain balance. At the same time I am mother to my 10 year old son, maintaining a home and hearth, all the while working 40 hours a week, pursuing my passions, and attending college part-time. The vicissitudes of my daily life constantly draw on my life force and I feel tension rising in my muscles and the venom of negativity is about to overwhelm me, I replay the vibration of our voices etched on the soundtrack of my life – “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Oooh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” It renews my light and reminds me to continue to let my light shine.
Laquanda is a vibrant spirit moving to the rhythms of life. She was born in Selma Alabama! She believes freedom was given to her as a birth right! Laquanda has traveled around the sun 31 times! She has invested 10 years in growing one seed. His name is Kwami Malik Ingram! Her grandparents would say Laquanda is a good gardener because she listens! Gardening relaxes her mind and purifies her soul, drumming and dancing too! Currently, Laquanda is studying Geography Information Science at the University of North Alabama in Florence Alabama! She is an explorer and she loves adventure! Among friends she is better known as Que!