Gotts Island Farm circa 1918 — family photo

I grew up spending the summers on a remote island in the Gulf of Maine. There was no power, no roads, and no ferry service. There were also very few other kids. I spent a lot of time with the old-timers. They had lived through the Great Depression and the Second World War. I listened to their stories, again and again, year after year. I noticed something about these stories and the way they told them. They laughed. They remembered the hard times bringing them together. They remembered having a clear purpose. They remembered supporting one another.

Hard times do that. They require that we choose. Every time I have felt down or troubled these past three weeks, I have noticed something powerful and important. When I reached out and showed appreciation, when I gave a kind word, when I found something real to praise, when I gave a smile or a note to someone else; I felt my world get brighter and lighter.

We all have that power and that choice. The “way things were” is not something we can get back. It is our task to make “where we are” all it can be so that when we tell the tales, we can do so with laughter and memories of caring and support.

This is the lesson for each and every one of us. It is our job to ensure that it is learned well and learned with joy. It is our job that out of this historic period of turmoil and disruption a new foundation can emerge, and a new way of being for and with each other can become a shared reality. Watch this video for Some inspiration.

“Maybe I’m a dreamer,” said John Lennon. “But I am not the only one.”

It is up to us.

Fireweed — photo by author

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.

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