Baking in the heat of a Hong Kong summer, the only way to stay cool is to minimize activity. But then what is there to do to treat your soul? Staying cool in sportswear, I made the most of the day with some poetry reading on the balcony. Clouds hid away the sun. Even with a gray sky, the humidity was a fierce beast. The foliage of my sister’s houseplants transported my mind to tropical jungles. In this way, I was able to fully immerse myself in rupi kaur’s second poetry book.
Exploring both hers and her mother’s life experiences, the sun and her flowers is a fearless dive into the worries and cares of both young women and immigrants. Her dive into personal histories provides the audience with a mirror to both themselves and the author that captured their attention with milk and honey.
To me, the most important message in kaur’s book can be found in its title. Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are delicate and strong, all at once. You are beauty and suffering, like a flower in the summer. You come from strength, and continue to draw from that strength. Do not forget to thank the sun of your life. Remember that you are more than enough.
Self-exploration and self-reflection are still relatively new concepts to me. Through new life experiences and new books, I am slowly developing out of a person eager to be whatever other’s want and into someone comfortable in their own skin. Twenty-two years late to the game, but at least I’m here now. And I couldn’t have done it without my parents, the suns of my life. Through the highs and lows, they have been amazing and ever-present. Always providing warmth and protection, they never stopped giving me the courage, the space, and the ability to grow. I wouldn’t be the person I am without their love. Hopefully I am doing enough to show them how grateful I am for their comfort and guidance through the years.
For anyone who’s felt pain from love, a stranger in their own skin, or an outsider in the place they call home, kaur’s second book is just the ticket.