Leaning over the sink, laying on top of the kitchen, with a towel supporting neck, as my mom attempted to condition my thick curly hair.
— Milan

Saturday evenings remind you of Shea Moisture and coconut oil, and your mother washing your hair over the kitchen sink. Her humming would share the atmosphere with the dripping water, simultaneously breathing life into your body and your soul. Your head would quiver on that kitchen counter; you would will the water running down your back to evaporate and you’d squirm, wondering when her hands would grant your scalp its freedom. But now you know that in those moments she was teacher, you were student and as she scrubbed your scalp, conditioning your thick curls, she was teaching you how to walk on this journey of loving yourself back to life. At the time you did not know that as she combed through the stubborn knots in your hair, she was teaching you how to wrestle with the demons that now interrupt your conversations with yourself. And so sometimes when you are lonely; when your own skin makes you quiver, you lean your head over kitchen counters hoping to feel your mother’s fingers in your hair; hoping that you remember your mother’s hands enough to teach yourself what it is to love yourself back to life.

Words by Mumbi Kanyogo

Yemi Kolawole