The Beauty of a Daily Prayer or the Return to Our Collective Mothers

Each moment in prayer contribures to a lifetime of peace

Since our first days in this world, we find ways to self-soothe our anxieties and fears. As babies, some find piece sucking their fingers to replace the primal nirvana: the mother’s breast. As adults, we no longer have that particular luxury. But the oral fixation still prevails in our culture. We abuse our mouths in so many ways, some binge drink; some of us overeat. Others abuse words spilling their vile onto the world in a million ways. Some others hold their words and let them fester inside until one day it all comes out like Krakatoa. All of it reeks of fear and insecurities.

However, tonight, when I had the needed to spill out my heart to my mother, I felt it was best not to call her to ease my mind on her because I wanted to spare her from things I could manage. No. I wanted to have my words carried where they truly would make a large impact: To the land of my female ancestors, my collective mothers. Tonight, I called upon the roots of my feminine heart as has done my mother, and my grandmother before me and her mother and her mother’s mother.

I stood by my bóveda and called upon each of them by name, instantly I felt strong, renewed and I felt them around me. I offered them Sandalwood, cool water and candles, my voice intoned songs learned from my grandmother and my great grandmother. I prayed for protection for those I love, for those who love me back and for those who are still fumbling in the darkness of their own zigzagging paths.

I prayed for wisdom, for good memory, for the grace to do the right thing when the right thing is not so easy to do.

I meditated about love while reading 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Upon reading the verse, I felt that all human love is inherently perfect in only one thing: Its constant tendency to be flawed. Only one thing was left to be done. I opened my mouth and exhaled all the hurt out. One breath of righteousness is enough to sharpen a sword, enough to burn an empire, to tear down walls. That breath was thus gathered by the Old Mothers; their wisdom will balance the scores and bring peace to us all.

Oní Yemayá Achagbá

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