Earlier this month I spent a glorious eleven days with one of my daughters and great-granddaughter on a road trip through the Midwest. The intention of the trip was to assemble our five-generation family for a photo, which we successfully accomplished. It was a time of reconnecting with my family and several friends. Joy was ever present throughout the journey. Toward the end, though, news of major historical decisions and events seeped into our bubble of happiness. As this week has unfolded, it’s felt like our world is falling apart. It’s brought back that familiar feeling of helplessness, that as one human on the planet, I can’t make much of a difference. Returning to work at the Seed has helped to restore my resolve to keep trying.
Our board of directors is actively working in committees this summer to address the school’s needs as we move out of the pandemic phase and into a sustainable future. We have one committee brainstorming ways to fund our exciting playground upgrades. Another committee, newly formed, is focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We met for the first time this week, and I have to say it was a most inspiring, thought-provoking conversation filled with immense possibilities for supporting our social justice practices. As we touched on many issues of the times, I was reminded of a few lines I heard recently from adrienne maree brown:
“We’re in a time of new suns.
We have no idea what we
could be, but everything that
we have been is falling apart.
So it’s time to change.
And we can be mindful about
that. That’s Exciting.”
Her work with the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute describes emergent strategy as
- A path that invites us to think about change as a constant state of being and how to align and direct it towards that which affirms and creates more life
- A path that runs counter to the competitive, power-over, urgency culture of capitalism and shifts material conditions
- A path that is apparent throughout nature in species that adapted collectively and can be applied to create transformative justice movements
I am looking forward to diving further into her work, as it resonates with where we are as a school and helps me believe in the power of change.
When we returned from our road trip, I received confirmation of the power of change. I’d sent a modest gift card to one of our alums who graduated from high school recently. He faced many challenges in his early childhood, and I was delighted to have a glimpse into the current version of him in this note:
“I was quite surprised to find your well-wishes and generous gift in the mailbox one sunny June afternoon. You honor me by sending your support through the years to reach me at the end of my school journey; but as you well know, the end of one journey is the beginning of another. I’ve grown so much over the years, and as I continue to live the epic saga called life, your faith in me and my potential will always be treasured in my heart. Thank you for making me who I am today.”
His words were confirmation that change can be powerful and open up new life. In this time of new suns, I can’t think of anything more valuable to our planet than working with the Seed community to provide a safe space in which this kind of change can occur.