Prayer Week and I’m filled with reflection and gratitude. It is the energy this time of year. The growing season draws to a close and we reflect on our triumphs and losses. Summer heat was the greatest challenge for us growers. For the first time I didn’t get Zucchini of all things, Corn was half its height and Cabbage looks to be quite small. It appears Earth has many ways to rid herself of humans – natural disasters, plague, famine and just good old fashioned murder. Heat is as bad for crops as cold. The growing season in Florida is September to May because of the sweltering heat come June. I do want to mention the novice energy in the garden that may have contributed to the curious missing crops, especially Zucchini – of which I have always had too much. We did also have the storm Isaias which knocked out power at our house overnight. Up the road at Hiddenbrooke, she had Zucchini coming out of her ears, but we have decided Hiddenbrooke is its own ecosystem, a mile in from the main road at the foot of the mountain. SDG has always been a wind tunnel. Corn was very damaged by Isaias. Zucchini is at the foot of Corn for the Three Sisters (Corn, Beans & Squash). Zucchini does not like high winds. We cut our losses and start to vision next season.
A delivery of hay for me, like getting Cabbage in the ground is a bright and happy day. It’s time to put the beds to sleep. Everything made it through our light frost at the beginning of the week, so we have a last push through the warm days that have returned here at the end of September. We’ll take it. We got some Tomatoes, but not enough for sauce for me, but fortunately someone gave me a bag of Tomatoes the other day. I have a quart of dried Tomatoes from 2019. I have a lot of my pickles from 2019 as well, (Beet, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, String Beans, Watermelon rind), so the season is not so bad. I guess we make stores when the season is full to make it when the season is not so full, like 2020. I even have two jars of sauerkraut from 2019. I made a new jar of pickled Sunroot in 2020. And I want to make Kimchi this season. We have a lot of Mustard Greens so I want to use them. I found an Oriental (Asian) Market that I can visit for the Korean ingredients. A new adventure!
Autumn Equinox was Tuesday, September 22. The day and night were of equal length and the nights get longer here down to Winter Solstice, December 21, the longest night of the year and my New Year. Ebb and flow, back and forth we dance to the rhythm of Solstice/Equinox and Moon as growers. We can join in the dance or fight to control her. Like any woman she cannot be tamed as wildfires, hurricanes, plague and famine prove. There is a great video on YouTube from the Long Now Foundation “1177 BC When Civilization Collapsed.” It was a similar time to today. Thank goodness some folks have the good sense to examine our past to inform our today. The Long Now Foundation wants to examine 10,000 years in the past and 10,000 years into the future. Bravo Stewart Brand! Truly it is the intelligent thing to do. Our egos prevent us from doing so. “Sigh.” Thankfully Turtle Island is so vast, we can live in pockets of freedom. We feel so blessed to have moved upstate fourteen years ago. One step away from the fray. An opportunity to breathe and engage Earth. We have our own protests of course right across Main St. I protested for the first time in my life this year. I did attend a vigil for Samuel Harrell a few years ago in Beacon. I have marched twice so far. It helps to release the energy of anger and frustration.
I have been having mental health conversations lately. It is easily time to start supporting one another. Develop community amongst ourselves and hold each other. Give us room to express ourselves. A friend Twinkle, has created a group for HVBlackBIPOC Womyn Support. So welcome and timely. It is so time we start doing it for ourselves. It is obvious that Amerikkka was not made for us and the Empire (Establishment) is making it clear these days. Nothing wrong with developing resilient communities. They may burn us down as often as they can, but we should always remain in building mode. My favorite meditation is a Mandala.
So much effort and work using colored sand to create a beautiful image that is swept away upon completion. Impermanence. We are fools to think otherwise. We would do well to meditate on impermanence. The only constant is change. The work, I believe is to add to the collective consciousness the building of community. Supportive community, no predators, no tyrants, no barbarians, just people managing for themselves. Hold on to the tools that are free, like growing food and medicine, collecting water, building shelter. We know food, shelter and water are free. It does not have to be provided for us. Let us remember. Let us not become complacent in comfort and forget our basic skills.
Along with the mental health conversations have come the conversations around Black Lives Matter. The media has done well to create the idea that looters and violent actors are part of Black Lives Matter. I offer the response I am sending to an older white gentleman with whom I am a member of a city committee. He wrote me a letter comparing Black Lives Matter to the Black Panthers.
Thank you for continuing the conversation. The Black Panthers did a lot of good in the communities they served, free breakfast programs and health clinics. The reality is, that as long as the Establishment (Empire) denies whole groups of people (nonwhite) basic human needs there will be unrest. Black Lives Matter is a non-violent protest organization in the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. learned non-violent protest from Mahatma Ghandi, who successfully used non-violent protest to end British rule in India. The colonizers who also created Amerikkka. I imagine with your last name _______, you may be of Scottish or Irish descent. You must know at least the Potato Famine that occurred in Ireland that was actually caused by the British only offering the Irish one variety of Potato (origin Peru). Monoculture is always a recipe for disaster. The natural world like the human world is a diverse place. Non-violent protest is a viable means to create change.
Looters are not part of non-violent protest, but they are people who have been denied basic needs (food, shelter and water) for generations. Their communities have been targeted for dump sites, power plants, defunding of schools, redlining, poor housing, not to mention flooded with guns and drugs by the Establishment (Empire). History is being repeated because the issues that created the riots in the sixties and early seventies have never been resolved and some say conditions have worsened in these communities. Amerikkka is punishing black people for the end of slavery. How dare we fight and gain freedom? It’s also the reason Haiti has the issues it has today. Amerikkka has never forgiven them for holding the first and only successful slave revolt in the Western Hemisphere. Amerikkka’s memory is long and they are relentless in their revenge. It is obvious today that Amerikkka is white and the rest of us be damned, even though Turtle Island (original name) is not white. Amerikkka persists even though it was founded on stolen land. Now I realize that the European does not know any better, because Europe is founded on stolen land and your indigenous have been eradicated in the process, but it does not make it right to cross the world and steal others land. A fact, that is undeniable.
It is a privilege of the white person to say that we don’t have a race problem. You have been placed in a position to do so. Your black neighbors are members of the black middle class. I had white neighbors growing up and was bussed to a white school in the desegregation plan. I appreciate my upbringing. I know that I have a wider view of the world because of it, but it does not take away the fact that I have been discriminated against my whole life because I am black and a woman (which is a whole other fight, I might add). We assimilated and “got along,” my parents, who are Caribbean, didn’t even associate with the black Amerikkkan, looking down on them. Herein lies the scourge of the systemic racism, divide and conquer. Caribbean-Americans were those immigrants who were taking jobs, just like the Hispanic immigrants of today, but we provided services that placed us in the middle class so we assimilated. I have never protested in my life, until 2020. I live in the legacy of Pete Seeger, who I had the great privilege of working for, for four years. I and my husband have been what is known as the “token black,” blazing the trail into white circles. Because we are articulate, we have made our way. It does not mean we do not face racism everyday. My husband is a union carpenter and that trade is dominated by the Irish and Italian. He faces retirement today as a battle worn soldier. I am one of maybe five black farmers in upstate New York. And Southern states are taking black farmer land every day these days.
Socialism has its place in providing basic human needs – food, shelter and water (healthcare falls under shelter). It is inhumane to deny basic human needs. The human being has provided the basic needs for itself for millennia. It is only in the last perhaps 4000 years that it has become an issue. Some say it was the advent of agriculture and the ownership of land. The indigenous believe that “we belong to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to us.” The indigenous found it preposterous that the English colonizer wanted to purchase the land, up until then the indigenous had vast territory, here in the Northeast stretching down to Tennessee. Amerikkka as we know it should end and become a more benevolent and compassionate entity, providing for all of its citizens. We have the resources to do so, we just happen to be ruled by power hungry warmongers. The rest of the world is aware which is why we are under cyber attack. Amerikkka is the greatest perpetuator of war on the planet, so these other countries are destroying us by other means.
We are also the biggest consumers on the planet. It is fitting that we have 25% of the deaths from the coronavirus on the planet although we only hold 5% of the world population. We are also responsible for 25% of the world’s pollution although we are only 5% of the world population. A fitting scenario. How interesting that we function with these stores having been burned to the ground. Essential services have become plain in this pandemic and one lost Duane Reade has not crippled us. We are long overdue for checking urban sprawl. If we focused on our people over profits, we would not be having the issues we are having right now, including the pandemic.
When will we discuss and fix the violence Amerikkka has perpetrated here at home as well as upon the rest of the world? Amerikkka is a bully. Might makes right instead of benevolence and compassion, which is human. As long as might makes right rules the day, there will always be unrest. The immigrants at the Mexican border (southwest Amerikkka is Mexico, by the way) are victims of policy in Latin America dating back to Reagan. Chickens coming home to roost. The immigrants on the European border are victims of possibly Margaret Thatcher policies. Something to look into. It is plain that colonization is at the forefront of all the issues we have today. How you Europeans couldn’t see all of this coming is astonishing. Every country you all colonized, the indigenous warned you all this day would come, but somehow you thought you could outrun time. What goes around comes around. As we face the fall of the Amerikkkan Empire some of us cry and some of us dance. It is over my friend and you or I may not live to see the outcome, but the seed has been planted.
You cannot be against violence because everything you and I have today has been provided by war. And slavery is a product of war. We have all benefitted from slavery. Did you know there was and may still be a slave trade from Europe into Africa? Easily, the European learned the slave trade from Africa and Asia, Empires that occurred in BC. We are all responsible for today. We must always fight for the people. Power to the People!
Amerikkka created the disadvantaged by the policies that I spoke about above. They are fighting for better schools among other things as I said.
I appreciate you engaging in this dialogue. I am first and foremost a community organizer and I believe it begins with the one on one. Thank you. Black Lives Matter is a non-violent protest organization. Anyone committing looting and violence is not a member of Black Lives Matter.
The Empire (Establishment) has media in its arsenal this time. Having learned from the success of the Civil Rights Movement, they dive inside the movement to destroy it. Clever to be sure. Jumble the message so that we cannot create policy this time. At least we know where we stand. We cannot be fooled into believing Amerikkka wants the best for its citizens. Amerikkka just wants power, plain and simple and we can be ground up in the machine.
Community as I have been saying, is all we have. One to one. Look your family, friends and neighbors in the eye and commit to one another. Whatever happens on election day and/or in 2021, we have been left to our own devices. It behooves us to learn basic skills. So many gardens sprang up this year. Human beings are resilient and will survive. At our lowest, we can look to the sky and remember infinity.
I have also been meditating on infinity lately. When I do so, my pace immediately slows and I can feel the sun on my face and the breeze on my skin. We are eternal. Empires rise and fall. Humans remain. Instead of the rat race, how about the human race? Robert Lawlor suggests that before even agriculture, days were spent in celebration of life (YouTube Positive Primitive FULL). Let’s celebrate the dawn, the high point of the sun in the sky, the sunset, the moonrise. Moment to moment, day in and day out. It is all we have.
I planted Echinacea at Hiddenbrooke. Echinacea and Elderberry, according to Susun Weed is preventative for coronavirus. Echinacea has been, for me difficult to maintain. I had half a bed at Groundwork many Moons ago now, but haven’t gotten her since. Every Spring, I cold stratify the seeds in soil for a week in my refrigerator and then plant the seedlings out come Autumn. I used the Kord Fiber Pots from Fedco this season. (www.fedcoseeds.com). They are environmentally conscious and sell Cedar Trays that I have purchased in the past. I did not see them this season. Six rectangular fiber pots fit in the cedar trays. There were sooo many Echinacea plants in the fiber pot, I had to transplant them to pots.
The season winds down and we begin to vision next season. We can write an assessment to document our wins and losses. We’ve lost 1,000,000 of us worldwide to coronavirus. If the Influenza pandemic is any indication, we can lose 2,000,000 in Amerikkka alone by the end, which can be up to two years and two months. Imagine losing ten times the amount we have already lost 210,000. Buckle up kids, here we go….. It’s a brave new world. We continue to lose black lives at the hands of the police. Honestly, if black lives don’t matter, the establishment is telling us that no lives matter. We are one race, the human race. There is no division of flesh, blood and bone. We all bleed red. We harm ourselves when we harm others. It is the nature of Spirit. We can examine our individual self hatred for solutions. It is the origin of hate. Black folks are white folks shadow and white folks hate their shadow selves. We are also your ancestors, like it or not. You seek to kill your parents. We apologize for our part in your self hatred, but ultimately, it is up to the individual to take responsibility for their personal growth. We can evolve beyond here. We can become benevolent and compassionate. It is the nature of Spirit. Ache!