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  • Shawn Hosford

My Heart and Soul are Full

Most often when I think about being full, I think of the end of a deliciously healthy meal complemented by laughter and inspired conversation with my loved ones. 

When this weekend ended my fullness was from time spent with Carly and Mark over a four day period. As we returned from our day trip to Vashon Island on Sunday, I had the warm heartfelt feeling of being blessed with a deep soul-satisfying fullness. As I reflected upon our day at the beach and walk in the woods, mental snapshots of our time together reminded me how lucky we are to have each other. 

There are times when participating in poorly-attended activist actions across Seattle, walking around my neighborhood, or seeing the misfortune all over the city make me wonder how on earth we will shift towards goodness. I ponder if it will be fast enough for the healing that is urgently needed. Then, respite with Carly and Mark reminds me that goodness is not so complicated or all that far from reach. These two people truly make my heart sing with their combined honesty, compassion, and fortitude. 

The 6th Annual Food Sovereignty Symposium at the Intellectual House on the U W campus this weekend included a speaker who shared hope by saying we are in a 500-year period of healing. This event covered our country’s indigenous foods and ecological knowledge. It was two days filled with love, truth about the oppression of our Native Peoples, and their knowledge of Mother Earth and her riches. Elders and youth shared stories and successes in their communities. People talked about saving native languages, the continuance of hunting traditions, and nutritional uses of the ‘weeds’ growing in our yards. The focus was on what communities had — not on capitalism, greed, and needing more. Wealth is in each other.

I witnessed similar threads last weekend at the 50th Celebration of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) — a reverence for elders, the sharing of knowledge, and recognizing community strength and resiliency in oppressed populations. At that event, the stage was shared by the elders in the BPP movement, indigenous panelists, Palestinians, and current activists. 

In the weaving of all the knowledge I’ve heard over the past two weekends, the most important strand of hope for me is our  collective opportunity to healing ourselves and the Earth. If we so choose, we can change our oppressive systems, collaborate with others, and end the competitions keeping us at odds. This healing will take hard work and huge shifts. As a mother I will continue to keep my eyes open for all the places these transitions are happening. 

Where are you spending your time and with whom? Do you think we are ready for healing? Where does your heart and soul find fullness? How often do you take time to fill your reserves?

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