We got back Monday night from our annual family camp. We spent four days at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, camping with our grown kids and grandkids, taking day trips to the beach, wharf, coffee shops, and out to eat in Santa Cruz, with campfires at night and in the mornings. The kids were happy wherever we were, riding bikes and scooters around the campfire, fishing, making s’mores, happy just to be together. (One of the games they made up had to do with “giant monkeys.” I heard them playing it while I was resting in the tent one afternoon.)
Guari and I even went Salsa dancing– once on Friday night to hear Broken English, our favorite band when we lived in Santa Cruz, and on Sunday evening to Salsa by the Sea, where we used to go when we lived there. I went to Bookshop Santa Cruz and bought an Isabelle Allende novel, Island Under the Sea,” and started reading it. Now that’s a vacation!
We’re home now, with lots of pictures, grateful for the memories and the times of bonding that we shared. I’m still putting things away, doing laundry, still reading my novel.
As I get back to work, I carry my loved ones with me. I know that all the larger patterns of history impact them and will impact their children and grandchildren: global warming, endless war and threats of war, the gutting of public services, the siphoning of wealth up to the top, drone strikes that create more terrorists than they kill, trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that threaten to consolidate corporate rule.
There’s enough going on with my family, and I’m an involved enough grandmother, that I could spend my last years enjoying them, reading and dancing, and simply meeting the ongoing challenges of life. But Love calls me to speak out for the sake of justice, peace, and the healing of creation.
I feel like Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, who was laughed at because he constantly felt that God was calling him to warn people about the dangers they didn’t want to hear about, who said, “Whenever I speak I must cry out, I must shout, `Violence and destruction.'” And if he didn’t speak, he said, “then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in and I cannot.”
Humanity is moving toward a precipice. Love compels me to speak, work, and point in the direction of a more hopeful future, and calls all of us to live in a way that makes such a future possible. Meanwhile, I plan to keep enjoying my family–and dancing.
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