A vow to my daughter

To my daughter, Lilo Chikondi

By the earth that, sacred, carries and feeds me
By the water that, sacred, flows movement into me,
By the air that, sacred, breathes fire into me,
I make this vow

To provide for you as long as you need it
To guide you when you are lost and in peril
To protect you from harm and mistreatment
To leave you be when you are just doing fine
   In exploring the world around you
   In getting to know yourself and us
   Your family, your ancestors, your neighbours
   All your human kin
To accompany you in becoming who you are

May your senses be open channels to your mind and your heart
May your heart be strong and courageous
May your mind be clear, wide open and sharp
Those three, unified soul, may it remain pure and untainted

I wish to see you rise onto your feet
To be running, aimlessly, and jumping for joy
To stand your ground when it’s firm,
To move wisely when the soil is burning

I wish to hear you speak your mind
And turn thought into song and poetry
To speak up for yourself, unafraid
To stand up for those in need

I wish to know your heart beat
Out of joy and excitement about this passionate life
In solemn quiet at the wonders of our world
I wish to know your heart beat in love

I trust that you will grow
To know your own “shalt” and “shalt nots”
To know your own wisdom
Free from fears of any lord or authority

I trust you will bear
Your head unbowed
Except out of gratitude where gratitude is due

I trust you will be
Unapologetically fierce and ferocious
Where anger is crying for change
And smiling in graceful awareness
Out of kindness and unapologetic forgiveness

I wish to grow with you in all of this
For we already are who we shall become

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