Wars and Rumors of Wars

I have to get something off my chest. First, let me say I know very little about the history of the evolution and conflict between Russia and Ukraine. I also think I understand why NATO cannot (or will not) get involved for the fear of starting another world war or the use of nuclear weapons.

My heart is heavy, heavy, heavy.

How can the world sit back and watch the destruction? How can we watch innocent people tortured and killed and simply sit back and observe the atrocities?

Won’t history hold us all accountable?

Is it possible there is NO solution?

What if this was happening on our soil?

I just cannot balance the reality and futility.

I am not expecting or looking for answers, but am simply screaming in the darkness.


What Would You Take?

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.


Uncontained Thoughts

I have tried to get my thoughts to conform to my will, but it is no use. The world is too big, too threatening to have easy thoughts take up residence. I try to shut off as much news as possible but it is everywhere.

I reflect on the easy way my life has unfolded. I have been poor by some standards, but even then, never really did without all I needed to live with the things I needed to survive. I have never been homeless, never had to see my children go to bed hungry, and never had to flee the place I call home for fear of death. I never had to strike out on my own with my children, looking at the men in my family and not knowing if I would ever see them again.

Globally we have been here before. Too many times. Too much war and too much bloodshed are on the hands of the relatively small number of people who seem to rule the world.

I cannot imagine fleeing to a border country begging for help. My mind goes to how many America has turned away. I cannot imagine sleeping in a stranger’s home or in a shelter holding my children and trying to alleviate their fears. Do they speak the same language? Little conveniences like clothes and underwear and toothbrushes and family photos may be burdens too heavy to carry. Families are broken apart and those unable to flee may now be lying in the streets.

I am watching as we the privileged complain about the rising cost of gas and going out to eat and not being required to wear a mask. We still argue about a shot that could save lives. The truth is we will all be impacted by the fear, greed, history, and politics that pave the way with justifications for war.

Democracy allows for protest and complaints, but it was not long ago we all witnessed our own attack on that same beloved democracy by our own citizens.

It is a precious and precarious world we live in and perhaps this is why my brain will not allow me to shut these thoughts off. We must care.