Fika (Fee-ka) is a Swedish word describing a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break in the day. It’s also a concept, a state of mind, an attitude. For more on fika, read my introduction here. Grab a cuppa and something sweet and delicious. Even better – do it with someone else. Enjoy the story. Let it be the beginning of a conversation – with someone else, or yourself. Head over to my website and leave a comment if you want to. Enjoy.
Untitled story – as told by the Rev. Otis Moss III
There’s a story that I absolutely love, that [Howard Thurman] tells about his grandmother.
His grandmother owned some land, and there was a white woman who was adjacent to the land and did not like the fact that this Black woman owned land. And so she decided she was gonna get back at Thurman’s grandmother and went to her chicken coop and got all the manure and dumped it on Thurman’s grandmother’s land and upon her tomatoes and her greens and everything she was growing, to destroy it.
But his grandmother, when she realized there was all this manure that just had destroyed everything, she would get up in the morning and take the manure and just mix it in with the soil as fertilizer. And so the [white] woman would dump at night, and Thurman’s grandmother would get up in the morning and turn it over and mix it.
The woman next door eventually fell ill — and she wasn’t just mean to Black people, she was mean to everybody, so nobody came to see her when she became ill. But Thurman’s grandmother went next door and brought her some flowers. She knocked on the door, heard this frail voice, and she went in the house and the woman was completely shocked that this Black woman, who she had been so cruel to, would come and see her. And she was so deeply moved by the kindness.
Thurman’s grandmother places the flowers next to the woman, and the woman said, “These are the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. Where’d you get them?” Thurman’s grandmother said, “You helped me make them, because when you were dumping in my yard … I decided to plant some roses.”
Thurman talks about from the manure, what can blossom. There are some who allow the manure to fall on them, and others who just turn over the soil to make something new. Now, that is so African. It comes out of the Black tradition, because we know manure, but we also know fertilizer that can plant new things.
When have you missed an opportunity to turn manure into fertilizer and what did you learn from the experience?
When have you been successful in turning manure into fertilizer and what did that experience teach you?
Have a good weekend.
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