Submitted by Kelsey Fox Bennett of Inner Art Creations
As I rummaged around my drawers there were many trinkets and keepsakes that caught my eye... the matching earrings and ring I bought in Paris, the necklace given to me by my first boyfriend, and the handful of lonely earrings that I love so much I keep them even though they are missing their partner. Yet there was one thing that had a story I really wanted to share and that was this Virgin Mary & Baby Jesus key chain. What makes this an interesting keepsake is that I'm not a religious person and yet this specific key chain is connected to and represents many of the things I value and hold dear to my heart.
I received this key chain from an Africanizing Arch Bishop I met in Ghana. I was in Ghana with my African singing and dance professor and friend, Nii Armah. There was a small group of us and we stayed for two months with Nii Armah's family in La, a suburb of Accra. Nii Armah seemed to know everyone and anyone he didn't know he would soon make friends with. It was no different when we traveled to Northern Ghana and went to dine with this Africanizing Arch Bishop.
When I say Africanizing, I mean that although he is an Arch Bishop and stands firmly by the holy trinity, he also supports and values traditional Ghanaian culture and finds it is merely another form of worshiping God. We spent the evening with him as he sat at the head of the table and spoke with us about his beliefs. Following dinner we were taken to his courtyard where we proceeded to watch and partake in traditional singing and dancing late into the night. To say the least it was a magical evening.
There are many things I will never forget from that trip and one of them is that night and the realization that we are all the same, with varying viewpoints and approaches, but ultimately, living, breathing, and celebrating the gifts we are given, whether they be by God or the Universe, they are bountiful and we should celebrate any way we know how.
Thanks so much to Kelsey for her beautiful object contribution. Do you have a story hiding in a drawer somewhere? Submit it here!