Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Squash Blossoms and Hope
As I watched this film a second time, I made notes on those things that I felt I would want to remember and remind myself of as often as necessary until I had made hope my daily companion. Here are some of the notes I took, individual statements made by folks they interviewed for the film:
Action encourages optimism.
We should be running toward the light, rather than running away from the darkness.
Stay where you are. Dig in and make it better.
We in the Garden of Eden and we intend to stay. (Two elderly gentlemen sitting in a neighborhood created garden plot in east L.A.)
Hope is something you must generate yourself.
These are folks just like us, who have adopted a positive attitude, who are approaching life from a clear and illumined path, a path they have created for themselves, as a way to navigate through all the underbrush of negativity that the media would have us embrace. They are making the choice for peace, for expectation of good. Every day we are faced with choices, every moment, actually. I can't say I always choose peace. I let myself get down and feel despair. But, I don't allow myself to stay there, and despite those days, there is always, underneath the feelings of sadness, a deep well of hope from which to draw.
We live in a country that has, for far too long, sat in front of the television and allowed it to dictate our world for us. It offers up one sad, awful bit of information or image after another. It feeds our fears and instills, in those who allow it, the belief that we are going to hell in a hand basket, that we're all just here waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I'm not buying it. Let me tell you why.
I live three miles from a town of approximately 800 people. Every Friday afternoon at least fifteen people, couples, or even families, set up their canopied tables and set out the bounty from their lives, lives spent growing and creating their own hope. There are farm-fresh eggs, vegetables from numerous gardens, a variety of produce. There are those who grow strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, those who create salsa from their own tomatoes, honey from the bees they keep, along with syrups and jams from their fruit trees. There is homemade goat cheese, from the goats they raise, homemade breads that are better than candy. I have fallen in love with the wild rice bread baked by someone named Barb, who includes "peace and healing" in her ingredients, and labels her breads, "Peaced Goods." She also makes a four cheese bread and a wonderful whole wheat with kalamata olives. I know nothing, however, about her rhubarb-orange coffee bread. Nothing.
And, that's all I'm going to say about the bread.