We were reminded that Advent is about hope. Amongst a cascade of challenging news about Pine Ridge, greed in wealthier tribes, child abuse, and climate change, we acknowledged the year’s uprisings of people around the world, gatherings where multitudes called for freedom, economic fairness, and solutions to climate change.
I wonder sometimes whether the mainstream media wants us to feel hopeless. They do a poor job of covering active dissent at home, and distort change movements abroad. They give a great deal of air time to those who deny climate change, and little to those who continue to document and/or be affected by it. I guess, just as in California tribes, money and greed speak loudly these days.
I was raised more traditionally, and encouraged to share what I had. Of course, by most standards, our family was, for most of my youth, poor. Yet we shared. My parents gave 10% of their income to their church, and additional monies to charity. Sometimes I was not happy with this, especially when I had to wear old, ill fitting clothes to high school. Only in retrospect do I understand the values my parents hoped to impart in us. They would, I think, say the fate of any person is the fate of all humanity. My parents turned to their Native and Christian values to resist the flood of greed and prejudice they saw around them.
Next week brings the Solstice.
This year, the Solstice, Hanukkah, and Christmas occur in the same week! As Yule approaches, the spirits of the land and the Ancestors remain close to us. They love acknowledgement, and the merriment of the Holidays.
Now, as the darkness gathers, let us take hope in our parents’ and ancestors’ acts of kindness, caring, and resistance, acts that allowed us to survive, and opened possibilities for our, and our children’s, future.
May we take hope in the voices of young people who demand justice. May we take hope in the promise of the generations to come. Soon, the dark will reach its apogee, and the light will again, ever so slowly, swell.