Recently I was deeply distressed and disheartened as a prominent voice on our island attempted to incite division and harm against a subset of our community. Vashon, this is not who we are.
And honestly, this is not who any of us is. Let us all take a collective breath. Let’s regroup and reground in both the beautiful nature of the locality we call home and the best of our natures. Let’s take some time and recall what we have loved most about our communities.
The ideas and updates we exchange in check out lines. The amazing nourishing foods and lovingly prepared dishes we offer at our potlucks along with servings of tales, witness, advice, and dreams. The events we birth, the good work we do, our unique character as a community and as intersections and rings of them. Our original inspirations and intentions whenever we gather to start something new. Our support of one another when we’re ill or grieving or lost. Our grit, grace, and gratitude.
Let’s remember how we came to be here in the first place, and why we’ve stayed.
We’re here on planet earth to live a life of love, and to find our way back to that soul ground no matter what. We are neurologically wired and genetically sourced to live as both unique-in-the universe expressions and as an exquisite tapestry of earth community weaves. We are here to come together in difficult times, and share out onto a wide and colorful blanket an amazing array of gifts: Insights and reflection from our spread of backgrounds, perspectives, skills, expertise, artistry, imagination, hard-earned wisdom, intellect, and above all, our compassion and commitment to one another as we are.
We are not meant to arrive at a one-size fits all solution to a problem and deliver it, but to ponder the constellation of considerations and concerns and to listen carefully to what each one knows is important to say. From mutual respect and all ideas on the table, we can arrive at a true understanding — grand yet familiar, with wanderings alongside, away, and between — of how we may best serve one another.
From here we generate a network of strategies that leave no one out in the cold, nor vilify anyone. Which neither seeks to bully and coerce one another to change their minds when they have already said ‘no,’ nor aims to destroy livelihood as part of some perverse notion of “it’s good for you.” Which will not tarnish tolerance and respect with “… but not in your case.” Which strives to walk our talk in all we do and with everyone we meet — even when we don’t like them!
When we inevitably stumble or discover our blind spots, we do the necessary work of finding our way back to our core, our Sacred, our integrity, our Source. We reach out with humility and apologize from our very roots and heart, and mean it. We commit to doing what we can to make things right. We renew ourselves to a devotion that is more generous and strong, far-reaching and intimate, potent and wild than we previously understood.
This is the way to true community health and resilience. We are vastly diverse and powerfully creative. We are synergies and individual notes of exquisite beauty. Make no mistake: whoever and however and wherever we are, we all care.
Islanders, my family, my friends, this is who we are.
Kinfolk and Kind. This.
We have always been hearth to one another. And for us collectively it’s been a very long and hard day.
My dears, the fire is warm and the food though simple is delicious. There’s a song and story to soothe our minds and call the wee birds who had flown away in fright back to the nest that is our hearts. Let us know ourselves: we are home.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
P. S. Please enjoy my short harp video, “Peace.”