What a mess this is, alongside a glimmer of hope.

Published - 19 October 2020

Monday reflections by: Annelise Fleming

It seems like these past month it has just been one bombshell after another. RBG dying, Trump getting COVID, ballots being sent out for the election, the cringe-worthy hot mess that was the first presidential debate, the Supreme Court nomination that is happening right now as I am writing this.As these events are occurring, our lives are stressful as hell. These events all will impact future generations, whether we choose to believe it or not.

These bombshells that have been dropping has really had me thinking constantly about the state of this country and what lies ahead for our youth, particularly young women of color. I am anxious for what comes out this Supreme Court nomination, for this November, the climate of this country and world. It has continually been something on my mind and it seems like it impacts everything I do and how I operate.

We can’t run away from it either, which I think is also a huge part of the problem. There is no place to run when the environment is being exploited and harmed by capitalism. The president telling white supremacists to stand by; Black and brown people being murdered by the police every day. The issue of missing Indigenous women and children not being taking seriously when they experience some of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault, and police brutality. Being in a middle of a pandemic! It’s all connected.

I’m not surprised but I am tired.

Tired of all the bad news we have been facing 24/7. But with all these horrible events that have been happening, I have a glimmer of hope.

What doesn’t get talked about enough and often times loses our focus while we are caught up in the constant news cycle of national politics, elections, the world on fire, etc. is the underlying patterns of health, resilience and adaptability that maintain this planet in a condition where life can flourish and be transformed. When we pay more attention to the systemic relationships and interactions that are happening all around us, moving us towards life- sprouting seeds, joy and laughter of children, glimpses of birds and squirrels preparing for winter- We are in fact, resourcing ourselves and practicing what a regenerative, life-affirming culture looks like. We do this, so we can better show up to resource our community in the work that is ahead. Sure, it’s a small shift, but its a hopeful and necessary, joy-filled one. And it’s connected to the larger necessary transformation of the material basis for our society. Pay attention to what the sources are for your own nourishment, and what gives you hope. As Robin Wall Kimmerer teaches us-

In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital or natural resources. But to our people, it was everything: identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us.”

— Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Potawatomi