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Acres of Inspire

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by Ariel Williams

Sometimes, I get in my car and drive all the way on the other side of town; the outskirts almost.

I drive around the fancy neighborhoods with the gigantic houses and foreign cars and gated entrances (when I can sneak in).

I watch how neighbors interact with their neighbors and the few random cars driving by, like me, as if we're outside of grace.

I nod my head; most nod back. I make sure my music is low or off completely so I can concentrate on exactly what it is I'm doing: Inspiring myself. Motivating myself. Empowering myself. In silence. Most times, with my kid in the car. That and I don't want to offend someone else's neighborhood.

I look at the manicured lawns and the power washed houses. Thanks to HGTV, I can only imagine the hard wood floors and Corinth countertops on the inside, because I’ve never seen it before in person. I see how care free their little kids are running on their acre + of land that they nonchalantly just call the back yard.

I look at the mannerisms of their animals; the dogs are tamed and well groomed. Cats have a shiny red collar on their necks.

I pay attention to my own emotions when taking all of this in: Am I upset? Am I jealous? Am I desperate? Am I truly inspired? Am I going to get this for myself? Do I deserve any of this? Why am I here? Am I crazy for driving around for 2, 3 hours when gas is $4/gallon for the sake of houses?



And then I think of my child, who is just as happy as those same care free acre + back yard owning children, and who would be excited to play with them simply because they're kids like him. We don't have half as much as they do, but he's just as happy, if not more. He's surrounded by love, hugs, kisses, music, laughter, dance, and a dose of Harriet Tubman and Louis Armstrong every night. Or Zora Neale Hurston when we're feeling fancy.

I used to question if any of this would ever be available to me. To my family. To my people. And if others would mind sharing it with us. Or if we'd be the token black family in the community.

I envision me and my child, a little Black boy, in our 40 acre back yard chasing each other only to end up climbing into our grand tree house overlooking the pasture I’d earned for him. We’d tell each other secrets and sip red kool aid and eat red popsicles. Friends and family coming over for a reunion, to reunite with each other and what's going on in our worlds. To see that at least one of us has made it. Great food. Great music. Great laughs. Great memories.

I ask myself that if this becomes available to me, will I be able to maintain it and leave it for my son and his family and the next and the next. Would they get so spoiled and abuse the 40 acres that I've only


dreamed of and handed freely to them?

I ask myself if I'm strong enough to endure today to get there tomorrow. If I'm bold enough to start the trip there. If I've saved enough to feel entitled to be there.

I'm scared. I'm alone. My shoulders are weak because of the heavy world that I hold sometimes. I've been to the depths and valleys of my town and know where the unclean areas not listed on Google are. I see the potential from where I was birthed yet no one else sees it with me. This makes me sad.

My child knows of a President and First lady who look like his grandparents. His parents. And I often wonder who he'll have to look at next. "Prezinent Ohboma an Meeshell Ohboma" is what he says with a Florida Sunshine smile on his face when he refers to them. Like they're his auntie and uncle. I wonder if my child will face the adversities of a 4-year-old 60 years ago and have lifelong traumas to deal with.

The other side of town for some people is just a place to live. A place to have a nice dinner. A place to shop. A place for their children to go to school. And my side of town seems to be an entrepreneurial hub for them and their hair stores, gas stations and laundromats.

But for me the other side of town gives me hope.

Desire.

Recharges my ambition.

Motivation.

Empowerment.

Energy.

A smile. A dream. A goal.

Not because I need a 7,000 square foot home. But because my mind is bold enough to dream it. And my hands are bold enough to earn it.

Not because I need a $150,000 exotic car. But because I desire the ability to buy it just because I’d want to. Because I felt like it. Because I could.

Not because I need those people as friends or equals. But because if I wanted them to be, they’d be.

I have $5 and 5 dreams. I want more reasons to smile. 40 acres and a mule is a catch phrase but to me it's real life, day to day, night to night, moment to moment. It's necessary. It's urgent like Darius Lovehall exclaimed his love to Nina Moseley.

And when I'm all finished, I'll enjoy red kool aid and red popsicles with my family. And great laughs. And great memories. For we are chosen. And we finally made it.

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