It’s still February but it is in the low 70’s in my back yard. I sit in the warm sun, eyes closed feeling a light breeze play through my hair. A crow caws, warning its companions of a cat or dog wandering too near. A few cars rumble by in the distance. In my mind’s eye, I see the Zinnias, Purple Cone Flowers, Lilies, Rosemary, Lemon Verbena, Calendula and more I will plant in the garden at this new home, where I have never gardened before. I’m anxious to get my hands in the dirt. Gardening is one of my all time favorite things to do; I consider it a way of praying, of speaking to the earth, of doing what I can to help keep this beautiful blue orb we live on, spinning.
So much is happening around the world. Revolution is rife in the Middle East and I send loving kindness to those who are in the thick of it, on all sides. I am still trying to get my head around what the Egyptian people managed to accomplish without doing violence. I was glued to CNN and MSNBC, and got very little else done for several days while it was happening. It still seems to me, miraculous. Is this the beginning of the shift that so many have predicted? I believe it is. I also believe that it will be a very difficult time to stay grounded, to stay sane, to believe that everything we will see, despite its ugliness, may in fact make our world more beautiful than ever. I want to be a witness to it.
Next month my husband and I will join a group of 50 other people on a trip called CIVIL RIGHTS SOUTH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MOVEMENT, a revolution that happened right under our noses.
We will begin the journey in Atlanta, under the guidance of Julian Bond, past Chairman of the National Board of the NAACP and President Emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center. We will travel by bus, along many of the roadways that civil rights activists took during the ‘60s to bring attention to the intolerance that prevailed in our country, ” the land of the free.” We’ll visit Albany, Tuskegee, Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham. We will stop at the New Ebenezer Baptist Church, the George Washington Carver Museum, the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, the Rosa Parks Museum, the Marchers Memorial and Interpretive Center and the National Voting Rights Museum, among others. We will attend a concert of the original Freedom Singers and visit a gallery of primitive southern art.
Our inspiration?? Several weeks ago we had the privilege of previewing the film, Freedom Riders, which will premier on PBS’ American Experience, in May. It is the compelling story of the college students, white and black, male and female, who boarded Greyhound and Trailways buses in 1961. They rode through the south, integrating bus stations, restrooms and restaurants on their way to New Orleans. It is a story of heroes willing to risk death, intent on challenging those who would keep the south lily-white.
However late, we want to bear witness to what was happening while we were sleepily beginning our adult lives way up north in New England, where diversity was a word that we thought little about at the time. And so we will leave behind our comfortable home, my lovely garden-to-be to try to understand what happened here, in our own country so we may better understand what is happening in the world we live in now. I will try to keep copious notes while I travel to let you know what I learn.
Please visit Sacred Circle to read grandson Noah’s letter to the President. He and his sister, Zoe, are part of the future of this country. I’m thrilled to see this young man stand up and speak for what he believes in. No one talked him into writing his letter. It was his own idea.