I picture you sneaking away from the crowd to read on your phone.
Or turning your head from the news to read on your iPad.
Or maybe this post is with you on vacation, sitting on your parent’s back porch, taking your coffee alone.
I aim to provide you with a bit of shelter, like this massive oak I spent time under yesterday.
“When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locusts,
equally the beech, the oaks and pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.”
Thirst Beacon Press 2006
We’ve all been thinking about what saves us these days. In the heat of the Northeast, shade. In the heart-breaking news of our nation’s immigration policies, separating families at our borders and how the entire debacle is being handled…where do we find shelter? How can we make a difference?
What can you shelter, in the eddy of this moment, this small moment reading on the 4th of July?
Starhawk, an ecofeminist, is proposing a ritual for today. I met her 2 years ago and wrote about it here. She offers a new ritual for this time, simple and easy. You can read all about it here. This ritual is meant to bless the struggling United States. Yes, even today, I am writing about how we can, together, gather our resources for good.
What I see at the heart of Starhawk’s suggestions, seconded by my friend Mama Gena of the School of the Womanly Arts, is to embody the change we want to see in the world, to provide sanctuary, even today.
If your sorrow about those children separated by their families at our borders, who arrive seeking refuge only to find themselves inexplicably torn from each other–if that sorrow is stopping you, I urge you to take some action. Here is a great list of resources for ways to help beyond giving money.
First, to your self.
Notice what it means to hold your people today.
Then take an action towards another in need.
Sing with your people today.
Starhawk urges us to sing “God Bless America,” and ring bells.
Send prayers for this land we love that we may all stand beside her, this land, and let love guide our every step. I have heard from readers in other countries, sending love and concern. Sanctuary and shelter is an issue all over the world.
If you let yourself make a small ritual today, I assure you, your energy will add to a global blessing.
This ritual will be present in my workshop for the International Women’s Writing Guild at Muhlenberg College next week.
I believe we must weave ourselves together in a human chain around the world to stand in the way of the ejection and rejection of those needing sanctuary, needing home. To insist on the opening of borders. It is imperative that we recognize and act on our connectedness, our responsibility to one another as human beings in a time of historic worldwide turmoil and uprooting.
-Kathy Engel, Founding Director of MADRE
I too believe that we must weave ourselves together, to the people we are already linked to by family ties, and to those who are being set adrift around the world. The ache seems gigantic. And if we take one action a day, to sing, to reach out to someone in need right beyond our own personal borders, this activity of love will roll towards others in need of shelter.
Simply reading about it is one thing. You just gave yourself a break. You took shelter under my oak.
Now, go be that oak for someone else.
Ever, in sanctuary and love,