I have been in and out of my home for the last few weeks – staying on foldout couches, sleeping bags, wood floors and air mattresses. In lush green, in city gray, in skies above, and in places where I wonder what’s below. I’ve been so excited to come “home” to you, here, and share my photographs, food, and adventures. Yet, I’ve noticed I’ve been avoiding writing about recipes, flavor fancies, or fun stories that encourage shoulders to shrug up with joy and my eyes to squint closed with pleasure.
Time has passed.
Gardens watered. Windows opened and closed, bodies dirtied and then clean. We’ve been running down the uneven sidewalks, tripping on air, throwing words into the spaces between our mouth and the emptiness surrounding us. Hair flying in our faces. Fists clenched.
Let’s look for markers of time and gather witnesses. Let’s look for the words that can catch meaning in small nets, cast over sunburned shoulders, which weigh down our sore, callused feet.
We’ve been going long distances and have arrived where we began, miles wide, oceans apart, and with the reclamation of “you are here.” We are a small, red, dot, burning a page.
I keep going back to the forest campfires. We struggled to catch twigs and pine needles with the matches and fire starters we brought with us. We were so thankful for those little, compact cedar circles, which eventually set the logs ablaze. Hands dusty and dirty from gathering sticks from the uneven campground, sticks that were sunken into the ground from previous rains, but fortunately dry.
It is our privilege to struggle in the forest with fire and branches from dry, decaying trees.
We are the fortunate ones. We are the fire starters.
We’ll share our tinder and send a message out into the air above. We’ll nourish each other with warmth and a sense of satisfaction after a hard days work or a night of restless sleep, in damp sheets, while we send out a signal in the sky, saying, “we are here.”
We want peaceful things, like supper, and warm morning coffee. We want to warm our free hands and feet at a fire. We want to rest, we want space to grow, we want to be heard, we want to be fed, we want to learn and share the world with others.
And, we, in the “free world” (mostly), have those things, and this is why we need to fight alongside of others who deserve those things, too, because we are all are deserving of these basic human rights. And, we must pay attention and push for others to listen, too.
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