The start of January brought snow. It was deep (relatively speaking), and beautiful. Looking out across the landscape I felt like I was in a winter wonderland. The light reflecting off the snow was so bright it hurt my eyes and I found myself squinting. How easy it was for me to see the beauty in the snow; after all I had a warm house waiting for my return. What if I didn’t have a home? What if through no fault of my own the home and community I knew no longer existed? Would I still be able to see the beauty of a snow covered landscape?
I’m a big softy. Hell, I worry about the worms in the bin. To help them survive the cold I added a thick layer of leaves and topped things off with compost that was still fresh hoping it would add some warmth. While the bin is bottomless and the worms are free to come and go I wasn’t sure they would find a space that gave them the conditions they need to survive. This bin has been home to generations of worms. The bin has always provided a nurturing environment. While they may burrow deeper they are not likely to leave. It would take a catastrophic event to force them from the bin. It’s the only home they know.
My worries were short lived. Within a week the snow was gone and I was outside in short sleeves. The worms had made themselves at home in the extra leaves and all was right in my little corner of the world. As long as I didn’t listen to the news, glance at a paper, or look at my Facebook feed. Those who know me, really know me, will tell you I’m a little eccentric. Come on, I feel bad for killing ants that come into the house. I carry spiders out side. I say a little prayer for the plants I pull out as weeds. At heart I’m a pacifist. But I’m not a pushover and you would be remiss to think so.
It angers me when I see people attempting to use fear and intimidation to get their way or exploit others. It angers me when others belittle and berate those who do not agree with them or who dare stand up for themselves and their families. I refuse to be indoctrinated into a system that wants me to fear people because they are different. A system that will drive people, though war, form the only home they’ve known and then refuse them shelter. I refuse to accept that this is right, or just. It is not acceptable.
In many ways I may be more fortunate then some in this nation I call home. I was never taught to fear or belittle those who didn’t look like me, who spoke a different language, professed a different faith or had different traditions. If anything because differences weren’t singled out I grew up understanding that we are each worthy of respect, compassion, and to be valued.
I was also taught that respecting a position, such as the presidency, is different than respecting the man who holds the title. I will continue to welcome people of all nations, who are striving to protect and provide for their families, with an open heart. I will continue to look beyond the labels our society places on others and treat all with dignity and respect. Exploiting the earth and those who make it their home is not a just act because it’s encouraged by the leaders of a nation. And those who are mocked, ridiculed and insulted are not the enemy.
The true enemy is a hard heart, greed, fear and a willingness to blindly follow. I will not blindly follow. I will not say yes and agree when I know in my heart that what is being spoken is a lie. Not at any price. And I cannot follow someone whose power is a result of exploiting peoples fears.
There is an alchemy at work. Change is taking place. Like my soap making experience it can turn out well or it can blow up in your face. There is much I cannot change in the world. And while I worry about where my county is heading, where our current president’s policies will take us, it is not something I can control. However, I can have a positive impact on those I come into contact with. And as I have so often heard – I can strive to be the change I want to see in the world.
And I despite it all can still laugh, I can still hope, and I can still dream…