The title Hidden in Plain View comes from a book about the freedom quilts that were made and hung out during slavery. These innocent looking quilts were in actuality road maps to freedom. They were hung out in the open where anyone could see them but hidden within the quilt were the real directions to freedom that only the fugitives from slavery knew how to read.
I often think about the quilters who sat peacefully looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths as they took their part in what at that time was classified as criminal behavior. The fugitive slave law act had been established to punish anyone who in any way aided and abetted a runaway slave.
Yesterday, I found hidden in plain view the directions to my own freedom.
I had just landed from being on the road lecturing for a week; to say that I was tired is an understatement. Still, I love the small household errands I have to do when I get back in. They ground me in ways that only life can. We often complain about the little things in life that get in the way, but they are there to keep you balanced, not throw it off.
I dropped my daughter off on campus and went about the business of my errands but then I allowed myself to be led in a direction that I had no intention of taking.
I took a turn down a beautiful stretch of highway to an area I’ve been to many times before. The local NPR affiliate is located on the property of the Ocean Institute and while I’d been to the station many, many times, I had never bothered to go into the aquarium that sits on the same property.
I went in and a world of wonder opened up. I looked on in awe as I wondered how I had been missing all of this. As soon as I began to chastise myself , I dropped my shoulders and reminded myself that “I’m here now.”
We have the freedom to go places and do things that our ancestors could not yet we do the same things the same way every single day.
|Look closely at the fish behind the stingray|
What is hidden right in front of you?
Today, take a turn and allow yourself to get lost and when you do, may you find the freedom you need.
Be you, Be well, Be Free,
Bertice Berry, PhD.