14 October, 2019

Learning resilience from The Girl Who Smiled Beads

I've just come back from a walk, when I not only enjoyed the mild temperatures of spring, the calm weather (windy walks are the norm in this city), and the last remnants of blossoms, but listened to the end of an extraordinary audiobook. It is the story of a refugee from Rwanda, and is extraordinary not for the fact of her journey, which - as she points out - is sadly common amongst fellow Rwandans, and innocent refugees all over the world, but for her voice, and her honesty, her pain, and her wish to be seen and understood.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads has another narrator, but there is an epilogue in which the author, Clemantine Wamariya, speaks directly to the reader, and we finally hear her own voice. Her words are important, and relevant for all of us. I found some of them particularly appropriate to those of us who have walked the No Kidding path, and was delighted to hear that she reflected my wishes for this blog. She stressed the importance of remembering who you are, of speaking the truth, and of not reverting to programmed views and stereotypes. She said,

"My wish for you is to remember you. ... To use your eyes to truly see. ...

To use your mouth to speak, where each word invites you to be you. ...
And if you've made peace ... remember the joy. ..."

She finishes with great advice.

"Taste delicious meals!"

This reminder to be honest, to be yourself, to speak your truth, and finally to allow yourself to feel joy, is incredibly relevant to those of us who have struggled through infertility, and is a recipe for healing, and for living, regardless of our outcomes.

I highly recommend this book.


  1. I love that last one, Taste Delicious Meals! This book is on my to-read list, I will move it up for sure. It sounds wonderful -- hard, but affirming survival. Remember the joy is great advice, especially after you find peace.

  2. Love these wise words. Just checked the book out from my library. I'm very thankful for the tip!

  3. Thank you, Mali, for the book tip! I love the quote.
    To remember who you are is indeed a very important factor in healing.

  4. "Allow yourself to feel joy." Very nice! This can be hard to do when grieving, but it is so necessary.

  5. i'm putting on this on my "must read before 2020 list"

  6. I am cooking a delicious, hearty fall meal and catching up on my favorites blogs and friends. Did I tell you that my nephew has spent the past few months in Auckland? He is a third-year university exchange student wrapping up his term in the next few weeks. I hope your ears were burning during our recent WhatsApp video call! I told him how much I wish I could visit New Zealand to see both him and my favorite Kiwi - you! xo