The Beautiful Community
For the past few months, I’ve been helping to plan an annual community event celebrating the social justice legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the past few years, this event’s been growing and gaining strength as national events spurred more awareness and action. This time, as covid19 cases exponentially grew, our event plan changed weekly, from a community march (always popular and moving) and many in-person activities to an all-on-line format. I’m sure the result will be rich and well worth watching, but it obviously can’t have the impact as marching and singing and listening to amazing talks and music and poetry with people of all ages does.
I always love that this annual march is less against than for: For human rights. For social and economic justice. For the health and wellbeing of our planet. For universal health care. For reproductive freedom. For free public education. For freedom of religion. For freedom of speech. On and on, of course, and things we want FOR the Beautiful Community, FOR the most wholesome, healthy, free and just life we can create together. Some people have been saying they feel like The Movement has died. I don’t see that. During the previous regime, people were incensed and aroused by the constant barrage of Bad News and there truly was something to be horrified by pretty much every single day and that clearly got people galvanized into actions galore. There’s still plenty of bad news, but now there’s also good news. There’s good news as lost ground is retaken and good news as positive steps forward are slowly being made despite so much pushback and resistance.
Nurturing The Beautiful Community
Locally, I love seeing the Beautiful Community MLK talked about in action. Though the pandemic has made it more difficult for us to gather in person, social justice work has gone online and is more organized and focused than ever. Students are organizing everywhere and using today’s tools with awesome ease and competence. Grandparent are rising up and regaining our activist chops, and groups such as thirdact.org are helping us oldies (as in people over 60) support democracy and work for environmental reforms.
A lot is happening, locally, nationally, internationally, and though a LOT more needs to happen, it’s important to keep our focus on the positive track. Respair, right? As I’ve been reading through various MLK speeches, a few great quotes are still resonating with me and hopefully with you too. Which ones sing out to you?
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
“Before any other action we take, we must remember to move forward with love.”
On a less cheery note, I was accidentally exposed to covid19 on Friday. As soon as I found out, I aired out the house, washed everything down, showered, and started the countdown to symptom time. Once the initial shock wore off, though, I was surprised not to be more freaked out about it. It seems inevitable that most or basically all of us will get it at some point. Maybe that will actually help us develop the elusive herd immunity? However it plays out, I’m deeply grateful for the vaccines that are making this extremely contagious virus less damaging, especially for us oldies (now I’m 70 I’m definitely practicing my elder persona). Now that I’m isolating again, I’m very grateful to live in a Beautiful Community where help is just a phone call or text away. I only wish everyone had such support, and could find and afford home tests (they’re almost impossible to find around here now).
Though I still felt fine this morning, around noon, wham. Uh oh.
As those cold-like, flu-like, not-very-comfortable covid19 symptoms proliferated, I started making emergency chicken soup, a proven comfort food for my family all my life. Luckily I had some cooked chicken on hand, chicken broth in the freezer, and garlic and greens from the garden to give it extra punch. This soup took me all of 10 minutes to prep and as it simmered, I kept leaning over to breathe in the steam. Apparently that’s what makes chicken soup so good for flu fighting, so if you’re vegetarian, any favorite hot soup should do the trick.
Simple & Speedy Chicken Soup
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1-1/2 cups chopped peppers
2 cups chopped red cabbage
4 cups sliced kale
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh thyme sprigs
In a soup pot, heat oil, onion and garlic over medium heat. After 3 minutes, add rosemary, salt, celery, carrot and peppers, cover pan and let braise while you chop the greens (and reds). Add cabbage, kale, broccoli, chicken and broth, cover pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with thyme. Serves 4.