It feels like we are on an extended holiday as we pass the weeks at Stephen’s parents house. You might wonder how our time traveling around the country in our trailer might not also feel like an extended holiday, but it feels different. There is a heightened level of stress that we felt traveling from RV park to RV park, constantly finding ourselves in new towns and cities. Here we can rest in the familiar and the known and it feels really good to be with family.
Our Airstream trailer is in the shop getting fixed in preparation for selling it. We will likely be here in Texas until the end of February when I return from my last trip up to Canada for my teacher training. We’ve only had about a week at a time visiting with Grandmom and Granddad in the past, so this extended time together feels extra special. Even though we have shortened school days at home, Zoey said to me the other day, “I never get to see Granddad and Grandmom.” It was one of those moments where I wanted to laugh at the absurdity of her statement, and yet realized the depth of her feeling that we stopped our lesson so that she could go get a hug from Grandmom.
We’ve been staying fairly close to home the past month, hence the old photo from our ranch. The weather has been mostly warm here, but we’ve had a few cold days. This morning we woke up to a sprinkling of snow and went for a walk after breakfast on the trails behind the house.
I recently finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Stephen picked it out for me at a Goodwill store. It was one of those books that found me right when I needed it. If you want to feel challenged and need some soul stretching, it’s a good book to read.
I’ve been puttering around on this blog post for days now, searching for the words to write. And then Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes found me again. She writes in her Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times:
Mis Estimados: Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered, very concerned about the state of affairs in our world. One has to have strong cojones and ovarios to withstand much of what passes for good in our culture today. Abject disregard for what the soul finds most precious and irreplaceable, and the corruption of principled ideals, has become in so many places “the new normal.” It’s hard to say which one of these most egregious matters has rocked the people’s worlds and beliefs more. Ours is a time of almost daily jaw-dropping, astonishment, and righteous rage over the last degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. You are right in your assessments. The luster and hubris some have aspired to, while endorsing acts so heinous against children and elders and everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet I urge you, and I ask you, I gentle you . . . do not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially, do not lose hope, most particularly because the fact is: WE WERE MADE FOR THESE TIMES. For years we’ve been practicing, learning, been in training for, and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I cannot tell you often enough that WE ARE DEFINITELY THE LEADERS THAT WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR . . .
For a long time I chose not to read the news in depth because it felt too heavy to carry while also holding the stories of suffering of my clients. But now as I enter more fully into what it means to be an adult, I can no longer be ignorant of the world of today. Even though Dr. Estes wrote this letter years ago, the words still ring true in 2020. And it begs the question, what do we value in our leaders? And more significantly, what values are we instilling in our children who are observing with wide-open eyes all the so-called adults of the world today? They are watching closely.