Young People

Gratitude of Resistance Seventeen:
Young adults. My niblings (the children of my siblings), my former students, a whole cadre of young people who are the children of my friends whom I have come to know and appreciate as friends of my own. I am grateful for the earnestness, the twisting humor, the open-eyed awareness, the focus on the work of their creative lives, the care for Earth and her people.

May we walk in Beauty!

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Keep Your Beloveds Close

Gratitude of Resistance Sixteen:
Reweaving the threads of friendship and memory with my Beloveds. We need to keep our Beloveds close in these times, and what can fight the tides of hate and intolerance and despair more effectively than eye contact across a table, sharing food, creating ideas and dreams together? Make each moment with those you love and trust a moment of prayer in action, a grand magic spell, a wishing bird of hope–that all may come and go in peace, that no one shall be forced away from the table, that a better way of living together in this world will be possible.

May we walk in Beauty!

Exchanges

Gratitude of Resistance Fifteen:
Exchanges. I forget if I have written about this in my Resistance Gratitudes,  but it bears repeating: School Foreign Exchange programs. They’re an incredible growing experience for students who go abroad, for the students who receive them, and for the teachers who experience students from around the world in their classrooms, and the chance to experience a collegial relationship with teachers from other countries. My school, Lancaster Mennonite, has students who come to us for three or four years from other countries, like Korea, Ethiopia, China, Japan, Ghana, and elsewhere, and just this past month, we hosted two short-term visiting groups–from Germany and France. These groups come with teachers, who teach their students a few lessons a day, and then visit our classes to observe how we do education in the US. I always look forward to having these visitors in in my classroom.  Both groups left us yesterday, and Monday is going to feel a little empty.

May we walk in Beauty!

Invented Magic

Gratitude of Resistance Fourteen:
The CryptoNaturalist–an account I follow on social media accounts. His name is Jarod K. Anderson, and he has a podcast (I don’t find time to listen to podcasts, but if you do, I think you might want to check him out). Short, wise, pithy epigrammatic notes about the humans occupy in the context of the universe. Here’s a recent example: “We are so quick to invent magic. To purchase magic. To bruise our fingers trying to squeeze magic from concrete and asphalt. What pale imitations we find compared to the poignant wonders we discover when we simply ask questions of our living world and bother to learn the answers.‬”

May we walk in Beauty!

Caught in the Brambles

Gratitude of Resistance Thirteen:
You know that feeling when you’ve been following a bright path in the forest, working your way from twinkling mushroom to red flower, and suddenly you find yourself completely lost and caught hopelessly in the brambles? You’re scratched and bleeding and entangled and far from home and you can hear the wolves closing in, and something moving around in the leaves nearby.

Then suddenly an army of mice and little birds appears. The mice carefully chew their way through the brambles that hold you and the birds bring you bright berries, and suddenly you’re free. There might still be wolves around, and you’re still scratched and bleeding, but you’re free now, and you know you’re not alone.

That was me yesterday, and all the wonderful people who reminded me that all is not lost, that much has been gained in the movement toward more kindness, more decency, more justice. And some of those berries are so bright and sweet: 100 Women Elected to Congress. That will have to become a poem, I think.

To top off the recovery, yesterday was a five-hawk day: a red-shouldered, three red-tails, and a mottled juvenile something-or-other.

Election Angst

Gratitude of Resistance Twelve:
I’m a little discouraged this morning. Post-election angst is a real thing for me since 2016. All those people made an absolutely herculean effort to elect Jess King. She and they showed us a different way to be in this climate, and I wanted so much for her to win. Despite, or maybe because of, her opponent’s negativity and racist pandering to people’s worst fears about immigrants, he won the seat. I am grateful for her run, for the hope of a new way of doing politics that she offered.

It feels like a back door into gratitude this morning. I am deeply grateful for the thoughtfulness and civility and genuine concern for humanity shown by Jess and her crew of dogged volunteers. Grateful for all the people outside the Old Boys’ Club who were elected in this cycle. May it continue to be so.

Please Participate

Gratitude of Resistance Eleven:
So much feels broken. So much feels wrong. Polarized. Staged. Rigged.

Still, we have these tools of democracy: Freedom of the Press. Freedom of Speech. The Right to Vote. I believe in the potential of these processes to create a just and more equal society. I believe in the idea of a participatory democracy. I am grateful today for the participants, those who have thrown themselves heart and soul into working to make it so. Today, I will participate by casting my vote for the candidates I believe will cause the least harm, for people who are most likely to  create policy that offers a safety net for the poorest among us, that offers all of us the hope of health care that will not financially destroy us, that welcomes the stranger, that makes our children safer. I urge you to join me.

May we walk in Beauty.

Skyful of Crows

Yesterday as I was falling asleep, meditating on how we make the shift from incivility to kindness, I saw a sky full of crows flying across the sky of my inner eye. All of us together, Friends. Hope against hope. Believe in the Good which is to come. Be ready to Be Change. Love and joy.
 
I do not deny that I go to bed tonight full of anxiety and angst for what tomorrow brings, but there’s a boatful of hope sailing that swamp, and a vast cloud of wise souls flying that gray cloudy sky. I cast the web from me to you. Let’s weave and dream.

Stories of Kindness

 
Images from a walk by Chiques Rock yesterday afternoon.

Gratitude of Resistance Ten:
Stories of kindness and justice. Yesterday’s scripture was from Micah, and our pastor chose to focus on the verse in chapter 6: “What does the Holy One ask of you? To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” And then, in the spirit of lifting our hearts in challenging times, she told stories of kindness, and she invited others to stand up and spontaneously relate stories of kindness. And it reminded me again that when things are challenging and anxiety-producing in the big world, we need to take moments to remember all the good and beautiful and wise or we end up with a skewed view of the world.

May we walk in Beauty! And justice, and kindness, and humility.