We are blessed to have lots of new readers among us lately and it’s possible that some of you will have seen some of these words recently. I’m so hoping you’ll hang in here with me, even so. You see, sometimes words volunteer for new jobs!
In my Grandmothers Are In Charge Of Hope, Chapter 4 began like this…
When we were expecting my first grandchild, just before I turned 50, I noticed a surprising thing. In the midst of making tiny quilts and packing glass baby bottles for the trip across the wee pond, I began to get an inkling that things were changing inside me. Suddenly things that had been sort of philosophically important to me for years, began to seem more urgent. This tiny unknown person, this new spark of love in my heart, had to grow up in this world. And if we’re honest, this world could use some work!
I began, a bit tentatively at first, to shake loose the voices of the ways we’ve always done it. That left me searching for ways to do things better. The family elders were not universally pleased, tending in the “sort for same” direction. There are serious health challenges in parts of the family and I grew up in a strongly environmental summer camp program, so I began my learning with “green” choices.
Household chemicals and personal products — the least toxic I can find or make. (Take a look at dishwasher soap when you have a minute some day.)
Laundry hanging on the front of my house to dry. (There have been many days I couldn’t get to the back.) And yes, Granny. No unmentionables!
No tissue in shopping bags. No paper appointment cards. Recycled paper towels. Sorry, Mom!
Well, you get it.
Now, I’m not usually considered naive. And I do realize that there really aren’t perfect solutions. I also believe that we can all do better in some way and I wanted this child, even before she was born, to have the best possible chance to live in a world with clean water and safe food and a big picture approach to energy. (Not to mention peace and justice and respect!)
I got involved.
I hope you will, too. Today…
…My narrative therapy friends are fond of noticing and wondering. As you think about your own littles’ futures, make room within yourself to notice new things. You know how you buy a new car and immediately start noticing the same cars everywhere you go? This is like that.
As you imagine your kids growing, you’ll automatically notice the things that are working in the world and the things that aren’t. If you’re concerned about dependence on fossil fuels, you might start noticing hybrid and electric cars. And, you might consider one if you’re currently driving a model that’s not so fuel-efficient.
If you’re concerned about safe, clean food you might start noticing signs for farmers’ markets. You might actually read the garden catalog that appears, so full of hope, in your mail…
…Those tiny people really do have huge power, don’t they?
Now, get ready for a bit of a shock.
Yesterday, I sat down with an iPhone pointed at me, camera turned to record. (Really!) I tried and tried to record myself reading the words you just read. (Thanks, Veronica, for the directions!)
It sounds like it should be pretty simple. I mean, I wrote them!
Instead I cried. And tried again. And cried… well, you get the picture. It wasn’t the historical camera phobia thing, of which I’m basically healed. Instead, it was because I care so much.
So I wimped out. Or went with expediency. (Up to you!) And decided to write a bit more. More of the things I’d say if I were writing this chapter for the first time. Like this…
When you watch the news, or go to vote, or (Heaven help us!) don’t, it’s really all about those tiny people.
Who would you rather have taking care of your grandkids… actual or eventual or mythical? That is what we’re deciding! And, if you happen to be having one of those visceral, whole-body shuddering kind of reactions just now, please listen to that.
Who would you rather have taking care of them and their future? I’m going with the ones who believe in civil rights and healthcare and know that climate change is real, etc., etc., etc.
I have two granddaughters growing up in this world.
ps… I’m supposed to remind you to be sure you vote all the way down the ticket. No matter where you live, those votes count, clear down to the local level. And, just in case you live in Georgia, one of the guys we need in the Senate is, alphabetically, waaaay down in the W’s, near the bottom!
pps… The lovely lady above is a glimpse from my first Legend painting and she’s known as Follow Your Heart. It was good advice when she came to be in January 2018 and it’s even better advice now!