heal the world

the fourth of july had me thinking this year about what it means to be a patriotic american. i want to be my own brand of patriotic, one that means questioning, challenging, dissenting, changing. helping to shape a better future for our children. where true freedom reigns, and rad journalists don't die mysterious deaths....but i won't get into that. the other night michael jackson's song "heal the world" popped into my mind and for the rest of the night i could not get the chorus out of my head! (so annoying. but i kinda loved it.) do you remember? it is soooo cheesy but the lyrics are all about love fighting fear and providing the inspiration for trying to make the world a better place. 

what do pool parties with big fun rowdy groups of friends and their children have to do with healing the world? probably nothing. but i hope a tiny little something.
because when you go to a pool party hosted by this little family of rad people driving veggie oil cars and making sustainable clothing, 

among a million other healing choices, and your other friends there are farmers and musicians and artists and dreamers, you just feel part of something wonderful. you can just feel that you are all influencing each other in becoming better friends, parents, americans, human beings.
not to mention the simple act of sharing good homemade healthy food together seems to promote a unique sense of capability. not only can we be good to each other and laugh and spread love, we can make a difference! 


my particular challenge is to not think about this once and a while, but to put activism into action. there are things we do as a family that come naturally, that are really just pretty easy for us to do: we live a frugal life and avoid over consumption, we believe that eating vegetarian is healthier for the planet in general, we try to buy our food locally grown as much as possible. but we know there is so much more we could do! for example, in the interest of time, i often drive my car down the street to the bookstore where we both work. it would be so easy, and so nice, to walk or ride a bike every single time; why is this a habit i cannot get into? the answer is, as always, i run out of time. i'm too busy. this is a mindset i am trying to change, among other things. 
and if there is one thing i love about being an american right now, here today, it is the embraced cultural value of change. i like to think that we are open as a society to the idea of change, it seems to be one thing everyone agrees on. what changes need to be made, well of course therein lies the dilemma, but i hope that it is a dynamic path we can all traverse together.

meanwhile i will take notice of the many lovely things my friends are doing that are making a difference in our world, whether it is spiritual healing work, creating a tarot deck, always riding her bike downtown, growing her own tomatoes, or attending protests.

these two little darlings put on a rousing "show" for us all complete with announcements, singing and dancing, and costume changes. enchanting indeed.

we rounded out the evening with fireworks at the fairgrounds. it's an event i've avoided for at least the last ten years because the crowds are insane, but we picnicked up on a hill by darin's work with a nice view. a bunch of our friends joined us, lucy stayed up till ten pm, and i have to admit, the finale really got my heart racing. it was so beautiful to see all those bright exploding colors just up above the ridge of pine trees, and i truly felt lucky and amazed to live right here amongst these wonderful people and in such a beautiful place. 

hope you are all feeling patriotic in your own personal favorite ways this summer! any particular thing you do that makes you feel like a "good american?"


Jessica said…
Such a great post! My husband and I were just talking this morning about how we should be better about walking or riding our bikes to places nearby. I think this summer I will plan more thoughtfully our outings so we can do just that! :)
Milla said…
Yeah don't even get me started on the whole M.H.-thing, drone-strikes and the incredible lack of social welfare for working families in this country.

What I love about America, is the alchemy of counter culture, the makers, the activists, the forerunners, visionaries, movers and shakers and homesteaders and dreamers. There's so much alternative thought in this country, so many folks striving to put those thoughts into action.

What's not to love? All we gotta do is put our collective shoulder to the wheel and who knows what can happen.

Love you and yours!
Tera said…
Great post!!!! xo
Rwrite said…
I think you know I was having similar ideas- and i love the idea that a pool party can change the world, a little piece of it at least. And I love the small ways we can rebel - grow your own and buy less. Sometimes I get really stuck up on the things I'm not doing, and it overwhelms me into inaction. I try to remind myself what i can do and do do, and that I need to keep doing those things.
Rachel Weaver said…
Not that it matters much, but the comment was be Rachel, not rwite. opps for not logging off husband's gmail.
Nichole said…
a sweet post, thank you for sharing! i'm making a transition soon to a locale that supports intentions like this (community, food, slowness and savoring, etc.), and while my current city definitely supports a lot of this, you're right, there's always more we can do.

i feel like many, many people say, "i find it hard to be a proud american," and at this particular moment, it is a little difficult for me. but my antidote to that is to take advantage of the freedoms i've been given and make choices that make my world smaller. i also work for causes that make access to those choices easier for people. it is a problem of access, not everyone can live in the beautiful spaces that we do, nor have the resources to make the choices we do. but more people that do, the easier and more widespread it will be.
Teeny said…
I adored everyone I met in America. It would take too long to write about all of the fantastic qualities we came across in you peeps. I've been feeling pretty rattled about the general state of the earth lately...reading Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour certainly didn't help; so in turn, I love hearing about people that understand what it takes to do their bit, to appreciate this generous earth, to try and turn it all back. And what Milla said. xo

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