Nestled in Redwoods

“I wanted to unfurl my toes for a little while.  I wanted silence, isolation and an invitation to exhale life’s complications.  I heard nature’s melody and I harmonized with every single note.  I needed the trees, their colors, and the sounds of wildlife breathing.  I inhaled the essence of the forest and smiled as life coursed through my veins.”  – Amelia Dashwood

Redwoods

It’s been a while since I’ve written. There are so many things I wanted to write about but life distracted me.  In March, I attended several meetings for social activism.  I went to Washington, DC, met with Representatives to talk about political issues and attended volunteer training with the Human Rights Campaign.

I was fired up, ready to jump in and take action. I found it exciting to be in our nation’s capitol, bumping into Senator John Lewis and Planned Parenthood’s President, Cecile Richards while distributing literature to California Representatives. Rachel Maddow glued me to the TV every night with unbelievable news she reported.

But, I became over-whelmed with all that’s going on in our world. I needed to step back and catch my breath. I felt the urge to be in the midst of trees.  It’s where I go when I need to soothe my soul.  Twenty years ago, I spent a year in the redwoods of northern California after going through a stressful time. My Mom lived there and it was comforting to be close to her again.  Recently I went back to visit a friend.

As I drove on winding roads lined with tall trees, I could feel tension leave my body. Passing by familiar places, I felt like a movie played in my head hearing Mom’s voice and laughter.  I walked alone in the redwoods past our old home reliving fond memories.  My friend and I spent an afternoon on her deck reminiscing then sitting quietly hearing the creek flow. When the wind blew, a white blossomed tree in front of us looked like a snowfall of flowers.  We dined at a restaurant where the Russian River flows into the ocean and enjoyed the sacredness of an outdoor church. The beauty of nature and slow pace was just what I needed to feel at peace.

Outdoor church

Russian River flows into ocean

Power of People

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

march

Our lives are influenced by passionate, determined people who overcome all obstacles to reach a goal. This week, we honored Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his inspiration, courage and leadership.  He never gave up hope, encouraging others to do the same as they marched together for civil rights and equality.

Malala is the remarkable Pakistani girl who advocated for female education in her Taliban controlled country. Her heroic efforts, including being shot by the Taliban when she was 15, led to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill.  She is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize “for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Hidden Figures is a book and movie about the untold story of extraordinary women at NASA, master-minds who helped launch John Glenn into orbit.  Their analytical ability was incredible, but the true super-human feat was overcoming obstacles they faced as Afro-American women during an era of racial discrimination and segregation.

All of these examples demonstrate the power of people coming together for change. Our world is full of challenges and controversy.  We’re at a critical point in the on-going struggle for equality.  On Saturday, we will raise our voices, stand united and march for all Human Rights1 while also honoring those who paved the way to activism.

1 https://www.womensmarch.com/principles