Back to the Streets

Several years ago, when our nation was plunging headlong into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I found myself going to street protests sometimes twice in a week.  The level of work and focus and organizing was exhausting, but the community experience of standing silent witness together helped me to get through some of the really shadowy spaces I inhabited during those times.  Still, I burned out.  And when I moved to the farm and had children, and our country settled in for the long haul in these wars, I found myself slipping out of the realm of the activist.

So it was with a little trepidation and a little excitement that I tucked my children into the car today to run to Lancaster for the March Against Monsanto.  My youngsters are really too young to understand the implications of Genetically Modified Organisms, and I don’t want to bring them too close to the shadowy places where I walk in regard to this story: the sense that nothing we can do will change things, that we can have a majority of Americans wanting to know what’s in their food but that we still can’t change the system because it’s not really about democracy, it’s about money.  You see how I spiral down into it?  So I try to protect them from it, let them get the sense that somehow speaking out will make a difference.  And I try to believe that, too.

It’s fun to imagine that Monsanto execs went into their ivory tower this evening and said, “Well, time to wrap it up, folks.  The people have spoken.  They don’t want us.”  But I don’t think we did anything to frighten the monster today.

I do think that we raised a lot of energy today, all over the world, like a prayer, like a magic spell.  There was deep respect and joy and energy and hope at the march today.  It was a lovely experience, and I was glad that I took my children.  If we can just all grab hold of a little of that energy, spread it around a little, throw out strands of it like a great web, keep raising consciousness tenderly and with compassion, keep remembering that to withhold our dollars from the beast is the best way to starve it. . .then just maybe we can make a difference.

I have to believe that.

Gratitude List:
1.  Taking to the Streets
2.  Watching the boys play together up the hill, discovering the spray of mist leaking from the irrigation hose.
3.  Believing in the future
4.  Our Little Sisters the Bees
5.  Rhubarb Tort

May we walk in beauty.

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