When I was thinking about changing my name to Anthony's some time before our wedding I was visited by a ghost of self long past.
little me, backlit by the sunset
joyfully out of breath running toward my childhood home.
Big me is walking downhill on Academy Avenue in jeans.
I am five and I am thirty.
We meet on the sidewalk on the left of my father's carefully tended hedges.
Little me is wearing a dress from last year's wedding
in which I am the flowergirl.
I (we) am (are) happy in the summer evening.
There are lightning bugs starting to flash in the side yard,
darting their light between the lilac trees and the grape vine.
The yellow chiffon dress has faded to something much more dingy and there
are so many rips and tears from the rough play of a
but with the setting Western Pennsylvania sun behind my
sweet little head it looks like spun gold.
Like a cocoon.
A short and kinetic ball of sunshine.
Little me runs up to my grown self and waves goodbye,
smiling with a few lost baby teeth
before turning back to the sun,
racing bedtime to win.
It was after this vision that I decided to keep my given name.
I could not leave her behind.
That sweet girl I was, that is Sunny Rising.
That is innocent me before the world told all its stories.
Before I listened to anything but my mother and my heart.
I thought of her again here in Minnesota, states away from where she played her fleet-footed games.
I thought of her while I was wrapped up in fleece wondering how I got so tired and tense.
In caring for my business, for myself I promise to care for the iterations of self that reside here in this space.
I vow to trust that someone who is waiting for something will be happy to wait one more day if it means a healthy and happy woman is sending it off.
I vow to let Little Sunny run toward the sunset hand in hand with my sweet son.
I promise to continue building and creating with love and integrity
that extends both to the intended and to my own hands and soul.
I charge myself with self-stewardship,
that I will not muscle past the guard who says to slow down,
even if they sound like they're crashing an awesome party of one.
I promise to let go of anything not completely vital to mine and my family's happiness and health.
I will comply with all posted placards and signs that indicate exhaustion,
that show me depletion.
I will fuck up.
I will decide to make a bundt cake at ten p.m. when I know damn well I should rest.
I will doodle about online well past my bedtime.
I will watch videos of cats dancing and such.
I will worry about things I cannot control,
lose sleep over those I love.
My wisdom will shepherd me back to the right place just like my mom always does. I have to trust that.
This year, this sweet and promising year will see a very exciting line of thought in metals and leather.
Omigod, so beautiful.
It will require discipline to realize so many of the things that I wish to
but I know, I trust
that if I tread the path gently and with love
it will feel even better
and little Sunny will be much more likely to match me, two steps for every one of my grown feet.
Won't you join me in promising to tend to the quietest and most tender of your selves?
A gentle manifesto for the creative soul is the order of the day, today and always.