A Letter to Justice: Face the future with Bravery.

Via Danielle Speakman
on Jan 10, 2017
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Following the election, I sat in my home with someone dear to me—a woman on the threshold of motherhood.

That day time slowed down. We allowed long pauses between us, we noted the quietness of the neighborhood, the absence of traffic in the background. We listened to the birds outside, perched on cable wires.

I watched the movement of her pregnant belly, her baby shifting beneath her skin. Though motherhood is always a great step into the unknown, in light of the political situation, I found myself especially concerned about the life of this particular mother and her little one.

My friend is growing a baby girl, set to be born on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, who she will name Justice.

Justice will have a white mother and a black father, so her brown body will bear the legacy of difference and sameness, of safety and prejudice. She is the face of the future—the face so many fear.

I have wept with my friend as she lost two of her babies already, their bodies slipping out of her from miscarriage, rescued from the toilet, buried in her backyard.

The morning after the election, my friend rests her hand on her belly. She tells me she feels the baby dancing inside her. Not just kicking, but dancing. She makes sure I know the distinction, because this baby is not feeble—Justice is moving with her whole body across the realm of her mother’s insides. She can hear the music playing; she responds to her mother’s feelings like the tide draws back and forth with the pull of the moon.

“I am terrified,” my friend tells me. “What will happen to Justice?”

She squints in the sunlight, which has inched across her face. She blinks, her eyelashes golden, fluttering wings.

I am scared, too.

Everything in my body has gone still, but this is not numbness.

This is anticipation. This is animal.

This is the pause of a lion before his hunter, the kestrel hovering in midair over the earth, searching.

This is human, the moment before breath, before movement.

The moment of discernment before action.

We are poised on the edge of a new horizon, which is also an old horizon. We sit on a history of slavery and oppression, but also a history of rising up.

And now, it is our day.

Now is our day to respond to what is before us.

And so I say:

“Justice, if you can hear me in there, please make it. Don’t give up. Be brave. The time is uncertain and fraught and there is so much pain. But there are many here who will love you, who will hold your hand; many who will do our very best to stand beside you. We want you. We welcome you. You are the child who will live. You are the child who will not slip away.”


Author: Danielle Speakman

Image: Joey Thompson/Unsplash

Editor: Nicole Cameron


About Danielle Speakman

Danielle Speakman has loved yoga since she took her first class back in 2000. Yoga has been a sustaining daily practice, and helps her feel more alive in body and in spirit. Bessel van der Kolk, a well-known psychologist specializing in the treatment of trauma once said, “You can only be as alive as your body is alive.” Danielle agrees that without the ability to feel and heal in the body, there are only limited ways to experience the world, as our body is the only vessel we have to know the world, others, and ourselves. Danielle hopes that her yoga instruction will further her student’s capacity to more deeply connect to the wisdom and beauty and healing power that is their body. She hopes that this body connection will bring them closer to soul and spirit. In addition to teaching yoga, Danielle is a psychologist in private practice, a psychology undergraduate professor at Lesley University, and a writer. In her psychology practice, she specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety and depression. She also has special interest and training in the integration of spirituality into the therapeutic setting (inclusive of all religious/spiritual traditions) and she enjoys working with clients who are seeking their own spiritual development and growth. Danielle completed her 200-hour vinyasa teacher training through Ame Wren’s Boston Yoga School and completed her yin yoga teacher training with Josh Summers. She has also studied with Ana Forrest, Tias and Surya Little, as well as many other teachers who have made her yoga practice what it is today.


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