As we move into a new month, there is beauty all around us. Summer is on the horizon, and the last few days in the Philadelphia area have featured warm weather, bright blue skies, slight breezes, and amazing skies. Migration has brought back the sounds and sights of a ton of different birds and butterflies. Our gardens, window boxes, and yards are fully alive with a wonderful mix of flowers and blooms.
IMPORTANT CITIZEN STUFF: please take note
Citizens are now in their third month of shelter in place. COVID numbers across the nation continue to climb. Millions are unemployed and food insecure. On top of those co-incidences has come the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and days of unrest, protest, violence and looting. These things do not cancel each other out -- life is not like that. They are “co-incidences” -- things that are going on simultaneously. But the cumulative effect of them on us is powerful, wide-ranging and undeniable. As a human, I have to respond to it all.
I am not going to go into the details of any of these latter things; people have been counting the numbers of COVID deaths, seen and felt the ways in which our lives have been turned around, and have had to make huge adjustments in just about every aspect of our lives. Folks have at least seen the video of George Floyd’s last nine minutes of life under the knee of a Minneapolis policeman and heard about the outrageous and tragic circumstances of the deaths of Ahmaud and Breanna. What I have to focus on now is how I deal with all the hurt, rage, confusion, tiredness, and anger that this unfortunate combination of things is having on me. What I have to do is to feel and acknowledge each of these feelings, and then move to a space where I can respond in a way that does not make things worse, and hopefully can help make at least some things better.
In the 1960’s many of us used to say, ”If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.” In many ways I still agree with that. That means that if there are things I notice and declare as “wrong” or “unfair,” then it is up to me to take some action. I cannot wait for government or someone else to address it. I noticed it, so I have to respond.
Attached to the newsletter are some links to groups, resources, organizations, and suggestions on how to look at, confront, and work on making needed changes in our society around racism and inequality. These are some things each of us can do, no matter what our color or background happens to be. If you are already involved in such work that is great, and a link in the attachment may lead you to something more you can do. If you do not know what to do or you have not thought about things to do, perhaps you can find something of interest.
I believe that we humans have a need to and a call to respond to all that is going on around us -- the good, the bad, and the indifferent -- as well as we can. That means I will continue to walk outside, birdwatch, and appreciate the late spring. I will continue to visit a slew of museums and nature cams online and to marvel at the sky. I will continue to make one new recipe a week. And I will try, in at least some small way, to continue to try to help this country and the world heal. To try and give support to some folks who are trying to do the same. And to take some steps, however small, toward creating greater peace, acceptance understanding, and inclusion for all. I am a human. I am built for this.
Tuesday, June 2 PA Primary Election; PLEASE VOTE! (Note, if you vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot in the 2020 GENERAL PRIMARY the deadline to return your ballot is 8:00 PM on 06/02/2020. Your county election commissioner’s website can help you find locations of drop boxes:
Montgomery County: https://montcopa.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5177
CENSUS 2020 The census helps the Federal government decide on things such as voting districts, grants for Federal aid, transportation and highway funds, and a hell of a lot more. It is one of the ways our tax dollars get back to us in our own areas, so it is essential that as accurate a count as possible is taken. COVID means the door to door census is on hold, so our online completions are even more important now. Please go to:
SOME WAYS TO HELP LOCAL AGENCIES DURING PANDEMIC
I know a lot of you are already supporting some of the groups working to meet some of the challenges associated with COVID-19. If you are looking for more or other ways to be involved locally, here are some suggestions:
Links to local Food Banks:
Homelessness: Project Home https://www.projecthome.org/covid-19-support
To report domestic violence: www.thehotline.org
INFO ON COVID-19 TESTS http://realconciergemedicine.com/
UPCOMING DUKES GIGS
June gigs for the Dukes have been postponed
Missing Dukes Sounds?