Try as I might, when I sit down to write, my mind goes immediately to the war in Ukraine. I receive a weekly newsletter from a respected author and today the subject line was “Go Beyond Sunflowers”. I knew immediately what she was saying. Sunflowers and photos of sunflowers have become symbolic of Ukraine and they are all over social media now – even I have posted photos of them in solidarity, but it is not enough. In some way, we must all find a way to help. For me, it was donating to an organization that does amazing work and has proven over the years how effective they are in making sure the money reaches those in need.
We do not like to think of war. It is something many of us cannot imagine on our shores. I don’t like it either. But it makes me grateful for what I have and yet somber for all that lies at stake when democracy is overturned.
Imagine when you must flee your home at a moment’s notice, perhaps never to return. Think how quickly your mind must process what to take and what to leave behind. Where do you go? Do you have cash? Will credit cards or ATM’s work? Are your identification papers handy? Would you take clothes? If your car ran out of gas, could you manage a suitcase with a child or two in hand, what about your elderly parent?
Are we helping by the simple act of continuing on? Do we work hard to make this life in a democracy even more appealing – even with all its ups and downs, challenges and victories?
Yesterday we bought cool weather seedlings to plant. It helps me have hope for what is to come. Just my small way of continuing on. In the interim, I look for ways I can help by contributing what I can.
And sunflowers. I will plant lots of sunflowers. Perhaps it doesn’t help, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.