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. 🙏
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