“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; a tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray; a tree that may in Summer wear a nest of robins in her hair; upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”-Joyce Kilmer

There’s something about spring that perfumes the April air with love and the bon vivant’s heart with joy and dreams of “April in Paris”; the lazy mornings, long sunsets, sparkling rain drops, warm days, chilly nights but most of all the promise of new life, in the budding of a tree, the blossom of a flower or the laughter that escapes without warning.

If it’s spring, it’s time for the Baltimore Maryland Chapter of The Links annual Empowering Women in Leadership Luncheon and Silent Auction at Morgan State University. The grand dames of Baltimore were “simply beautiful” with their fabulous hats and magnificent smiles. It was great seeing Links Dr. Charlene Cooper-Boston, Judge Miriam Hutchins, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Dana Moore, Faith Thomas, Lydia Mussenden, Roslyn Smith, LaVerne Turner, Christine Moore, Billie Garner-Brown, Barbara Armstrong, Dr. Frankie Martin, Dr. Maya Cummings, Nikita Haysbert, Shirley Kane and Bishop Vashti McKenzie. Other guests enjoying the dynamic Joy-Ann Reid, national correspondent for MSNBC were Nykidra Robinson, Sara Smalley, Aldonna Wylie, Margaret Johnson, Eleanor Matthews, AFRO photographer Lois DeLaine, Debbie Parker, Trena Taylor, Blanche Beckham, Shirley Swafford, Yvonne Lansey, Mildred Harper, Diana and Larry Gibson, Carmelita March-Harris, Lola March, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Attorney General Brian Frosh and Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. Link President Patricia Jessamy conducted a Q&A session with Joy-Ann Reid, which highlighted the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

“The smaller the club the bigger the party”-Mel Watters

Mildred said, “let’s hit some old stomping grounds” so we headed to Sandtown, the club mecca during its heyday.  Once a booming area with grocery stores, dry cleaners,funeral homes and churches,  Sandtown is just a ghost of its former self. But Odyssey Lounge, owned by my friend Barbara “Chillie” Washington, in the heart of Sandtown is still a place where the “in crowd” gathers.

We walked in and was greeted with “Hello” and longtime no see from old familiar faces.  “The party’s jumping” and it was a perfect opportunity to reminisce and go “back down memory lane.”  When I left the Odyssey and made a left turn there was the Club Bar. I saw a parking spot and several cars I recognized. I hadn’t been in there since the 70s but I had promised some friends that the next time I was in Sandtown I would stop in. Being a person of my word, that’s what I did. The last time I was in Sandtown it was the day after the riots last April. It’s sad that other than the murals on the wall it’s an area that still needs support to be revitalized.

“Give me my flowers while I yet live so that I can see the beauty that they bring… Speak kind words to me while I can hear them, so that I can hear the beauty they bring.”-James Cleveland

Thanks you Rev. Tony Love, Rev. Raphael Koikoi, Rev Andre Briscoe Jr., and Rev. Marlon Tilghman for honoring my mother in such an eloquent way Sunday afternoon at St. Matthews UMC on E. 23rd St. 

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”-Maya Angelou

You each spoke so lovingly, on how she had influenced your ministries at various crossroads.  My sisters and I enjoyed the playful banter as you each claimed to be her favorite.  Thanks Pastors for giving my mom her flowers while she can smell them, but for the record I am the favorite. (LOL)

“If it’s your birthday, make some noise” Orrester Shaw, Krystal and Kristie Jones, Shirley Richmond, Vhonda Lewis, John Stanley, Ronald Flamer, Michael Guye, Errol Taylor, Paula Stephens, Danyell Winkey-Smith, Cynthia Harvin, Ray Bowen Jr., Karaleigh Henson, Rev. Alvin Hathaway, Michael Andre Settles, Dr. Jesola Jones, William “Billy” Murphy, Libby Harris, Delegate Ben Brooks, Elizabeth Goins, Marama Nengel, Dee Dee Jenkins, Veronica ”Ronnie” Jackson, Ken Banks and my mother, retired United Methodist Pastor Pauline Wilkins.

Alex Dixon Vice President of Horseshoe Baltimore said they are hiring so if this is your dream job call   443-931-4106 or visit  HorseshoeBaltimore.com.

Condolences to Ellsworth Jackson on the death of his mother Dorothy Jackson at the age of 96; to Rev. Jerome Stephens on the death of his sister Deborah Stephens-Williams and to Michael, Tina and Kenneth on the death of their brother Harvey Polston. 

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watching the negative campaign ads I’m reminded of our God of second chances; Marion Barry knew him and so did the citizens of D.C. They forgave him because they knew how DC flourished under his leadership.

The other day a friend shared this story. Two Monks were walking along the road when they came upon a naked woman standing on the edge of a riverbank trying to get across to the other side but she couldn’t swim. One Monk picked her up and carried her across. When he returned, the other Monk said I can’t believe you carried that naked woman to the other side. The Monk looked at him and said the difference is I left her on the other side and you are still carrying her.

When you vote remember to leave it on the other side. Aleut Continua (the struggle continues).