“Because if mamas don’t fight for the children…who will?”

Standing outside today admiring a sky so blue it felt like I hadn’t ever seen one before, I suddenly felt such gratitude for something as simple as the clean,sea air filling my lungs. We take it for granted…and we shouldn’t.  I’ve been coughing the last couple of days and although the heavy smoke has lifted here, my body is still trying to rid itself of the residue.

Walking with the breeze tangling my hair, I notice many of the large cedar trees here are dying, a problem plaguing the island after two hot, dry summers. 

Rain forests weren’t meant to go so long without rain so many summers in a row. Coupled with such high temps it stresses them too much and they begin to die.

Not blogging has been hard. I’ve written previously of having been impacted by Raynauds last winter after the site c decision, (that stress & cortisol! ) to the point I felt I had no choice but to turn away from all politics.

But how does one turn off passion? I wanted to not care. I tried not caring for the sake of my health and I needed to learn how to manage my stress so that it didn’t end up killing me.But somedays I sneak peeks at #bcpoli. Or read Norm Farrells blog. Or lurk on Integrity BC’s page.😂

But as a mother more than anything, I still feel such a responsibility that I just can’t be one of those blissfully unaware people. I saw Bernie Sanders page post this:

“I hope when the day comes that our children and grandchildren look us in the eye and ask, “What did you do about climate change?” We can proudly say we did everything we could; we successfully transformed our political system and left them a planet that is healthy and habitable.”

So. I can’t say I did all I could, when I didn’t. I’ll try to blog once in a while but not with any kind of consistency. If a couple months goes by, don’t worry. It means I need to cancel out the noise. I’m still very much learning self awareness & how to achieve a balance. Health comes first as does family and I can’t do a repeat of last winter. I kinda like my hair and most of it grew back over summer so I don’t want it to fall out again 😉 ( in good company-Jada Pinkett Smith has gone through similar hair loss)

I was thinking about all this, when a conference I attended once to see the Dalai Lama speak on women & peace came to mind. He mentioned he felt women could save the world..so much more to be said on this but it immediately brought to mind Helen Knott.

I first came to know Helen online, during the 62 days that campers stayed at Rocky Mountain Fort  during the initial Site C clearing, to keep the area from being cut. (This was where and when I really started researching & writing about site c.)

Helen is a powerhouse.

Inspiring me more than anyone else I have l met, she walks her path without apology and with  a grace and purpose many would pay life coaches to try and achieve. At the 2017 Nobel  Womens Initative, Helen presented this poem- she writes of her experience as an Indigenous woman & mother , yet there is much that will resonate with the efforts of mamas all over the world involved in front line activism.

It’s raw & parts speak so deep to my spirit it feels like she is grabbing my heart…

With her permission, I share this poem. As a call to the mamas, those who wish to be mamas and those choosing not to be as well. A call to all who believe we can make a better future for our children…because we are in this together. 🙏

 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/helen-knott/poem-for-mamas-on-frontlines

I wrote this poem, For the mamas on the frontlines, when I was in a challenging space of darkness. It is a space I believe so many of us find ourselves in when engaged in activism and so my words came from a place of necessity but also from a strong belief in the power of action taken by individuals.

We have stood on front lines

with our fists raised up on high

we’ve flooded city streets

in a collective stream

heart to heart and side by side

we have made ourselves allies

offering up personal sacrifice

we have filled up petition lines

time after time… after time

We’ve seen movements

because if mamas don’t fight for the children, then who will?

swell, wax, wane, recede, and grow

we have had our children in tow

or sometimes have left them home

explaining on bended knee,

Just why mama’s gotta leave

because if mamas don’t fight for the children, then who will?

I said, if mamas don’t fight for the children, then who will?

We’ve learned to navigate the political currents

placing pressure on PMs, MPs and MLAs

cabinet ministers, and deputies of whatever department keeps messing up

some of us have broken man made laws and have gone and got ourselves arrested

we have sat in vigil of our own

sometimes our flickering candles we hold… are the only light we see

Yet we hold the belief that one day the darkness will have no choice but to recede

we have stood in defense of lands, of waters,

for our sons,

for our daughters

for something bigger than ourselves

No matter the historical struggle from which we rise

many of us have realized

we are in this together, and when we collectively defy

we actively redefine… love

Sometimes that love gives us the ability to move mountains

and other times it gives us enough drive to persist for one more day

In the face of any revolution

there are many pauses, stalls, and starts

there are many tears, unspoken of fears, and the breaking of hearts

Sometimes if you listen hard enough you can actually hear it…

the sound of your heart trying not to give up on itself

Because let’s be honest darling,

sometimes fighting for change is a lot like putting yourself through hell

So what is it that makes us persist?

When its apparent that ignorance walks hand in hand with bliss

Is it because

sometimes doing nothing just don’t sit right with the soul?

or that we believe power is not absolute

and there is no submitting to those who appear to be in control?

Do we stand for treaties and promises made and broken long ago?

For the voiceless? For the choiceless?

Or are we grounded by science or facts?

Perhaps our faith demands that we move to react?

Whichever it is, there is strength in our choice to stand together

One thing I do know for sure to be true

is that I would not be standing and talking freely as I do

if not for those who came before me

because they did not admit defeat

they stood grounded in what they believed

they fought, they bled, they sacrificed

and it is because of this that I can sleep at night

knowing all of these actions are not done in vain

because I stand on the shoulders of these giants

and the next generation will one day say the same

and the giants that they speak of, well my dear they will be us

so never underestimate

the power of your voice

or the strength in a collective moving kind of love

 

 

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