Be Glad of Life

The last blog post I wrote was from 34,000 feet above the earth – winging my way to the west coast.  We are here now and I write to you from Orcas – one of the San Juan islands off the coast of Washington.  It’s beyond beautiful – sea and sky, snow-capped mountains of the distant Olympic Peninsula, dense stands of tall cedars and gardens overflowing with lavender.  Straits Salish peoples, particularly the Lummi tribe lived on Orcas for thousands of years. I repeat, thousands of years.  They cared for one another and the piece of planet that was home. Surely, surely we can do the same. Be bold, be brave my friends.  Work as hard and as best you can on the issues that are most important to you and then do something that pushes you a bit beyond.  When you are overwhelmed, take a walk outside and breathe.  Remind yourself what the work is all about, that you are not alone and that this is all much bigger than any one of us.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.” Rilke

Ideas • Information • Action

trumpcarephoto

Sadly, healthcare is still on the table. The Republicans seem absolutely determined to pass some form of this cruel plan – but – we can and we must stop them. The flow chart above was very helpful to me (thank you Planned Parenthood.) Call, call, call, send email, call, call, call. Here are good tips from FCNL.  Tell your specific healthcare story.  For good scripts you can also visit TheSixtyFive. Senators who voted to move Trumpcare forward must feel a massive backlash from their constituents in the next few days – this is us. Call, call, call.

In the House of Representatives debate will begin on a bill that funds war, nuclear weapons and the border wall (remember that?).  Speak out and let your representative know your thoughts. Our friends at Wall of Us also have great information on these issues.

Have you heard about Resistance School? It’s an online, free practical training program (or, in person at Harvard’s Kennedy School.) Their goal is to sharpen the tools communities need to organize and make sustained change that advances values of fairness, equality, and inclusivity.  You can sign up to receive links to their free online sessions.

A new website for you – 3 No Trump (in the game of bridge 3 NoTrump is a winning bid!) Each week they are sharing quick calls you can make, organizations you can support and personal actions you can take to stop the Trump agenda.

I’m revisiting the great work of All The Good We Can Do  because the six causes they focus on seem particularly important right now especially given the attack on our Transgender community from the White House. This group addresses politics and policies by working to support those who are especially impacted by them. Their causes are: Children, Disability Rights, Immigration, the LGBTQ Community, Racial & Cultural Equality, and Women’s Rights. Visit them for lots of opportunities to make a difference.

Remember climate change?  Learn 10 things you can do to uphold the Paris accord, from the Sierra Club. While you are there, join the Sierra Club and sign up for their newsletter.

Hope is Evident

#ResistanceRevival – from The Women’s March – resistance in the style of a flash mob – YES!!!!

This art installment is outside one of the Churches in my small hometown….

Doors

And finally,

Some of the most powerful moments in my life have been carefully planned and some, equally powerful, have come to me by surprise.  Either way, the beautiful thing about a moment is that it demands presence.  It’s a period, however brief, when you are captured, paying attention and not distracted by the thousands of other things you could be doing.  We have a big beautiful moment coming up in our family and I’m going to take a break from writing this blog so I can be fully present for the time before, during and after our son’s wedding.  I will be back after the wedding – restored and renewed by the grace that is sure to show up as well as from time with family and friends – away from the political drama that is continual challenge and worry.  I hope that the summer (or winter if you are on the other side of the planet) brings you some moments.  I hope you look up at the stars, I hope you take some time to play with the people you love. As Henry Van Dyke reminds us:

Be glad of life because
It gives you the chance
To love and to work and
To play and to look up
At the stars.

Here’s to you, here’s to us – all in it together.