New Growth…

Hi Friends!

Welcome to all of our new friends, too! I’m so glad that you are here! I hope that you and all those you love are safe and healthy. My family continues to stay at home and stay safe. I am so grateful to everyone who has written and called to check on us! We have been so touched by your surprises left on our front porch, too. Your thoughtfulness is truly appreciated. When I check on the blog each day, it warms my heart to see visitors from so many countries who have stopped to visit here. Thank you all for being a special part of my life!

I have truly been savoring my early morning walks through the garden as I snip bouquets of colorful blossoms. It has become a lovely gratitude practice. I love bringing my mom lots of bouquets and leaving Mason jars filled with flowers by our neighbors’ doors. Simple gifts from the heart…

It’s not only my perennial and herb gardens that have been growing this summer.

I am experiencing new growth day-by-day, as well.

I can feel it…

 Several weeks ago, I came upon these words

from the Baha’i faith…

 

“We are the flowers of one garden.”

Just as I cherish all the colors blooming in my garden,

I celebrate the diversity of all the people of color in our country.

“We are the flowers of one garden.”

In this time of renewed awareness, I am intentionally making time in each day for new growth as I learn more about about the reality of social justice, equality, and inclusion for all. I’m seeking out and listening closely to Black voices. Although I cannot fully understand all that I am learning, I will do all that I can to empower the voices of those who do understand. I feel called to be a megaphone, amplifying the voices of Black women…

A few weeks ago, I read the New York Times bestseller, I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown. What a powerful memoir! I read with a highlighter in hand, sticky notes to flag passages, and a pencil to add my thoughts and questions. I’m definitely planning to reread it. I highly recommend this book! Austin Channing Brown has moved me to continue to do the hard work of listening, learning, and growing.

Austin’s awareness of racial injustice began when she was only seven years old. Her story is certain to open the hearts and minds of her readers. Her memoir offers important food for thought for teachers and workplaces of all kinds.

Austin shares the subtle effects of white supremacy that have powerfully impacted her education, religion, and career. Her heartfelt words made me, a “nice, white person,” stop and think deeply as I read about her experiences.

Austin Channing Brown is also the executive producer and host of the web series The Next Question. (Here is a very powerful episode featuring Austin and Brene Brown offering so many valuable insights.) 

You Tube and Instagram are two of the tools that are helping me think more critically about the world we live in.  Intentionally inviting people that don’t look like me into my life has enriched me and opened my eyes in so many ways. Social media has made it easy to invite inspiring Black voices into my life.  During #sharethemicnow on Instagram, white influencers introduced us to wonderful Black authors and speakers. Soon after, the art/craft community on Instagram amplified Black voices during #passthebrushart by partnering well-known white artists and crafters with very talented Black artists and crafters. I really enjoyed meeting so many Black creatives, virtually visiting their art/craft studios, and listening to their heartfelt thoughts. I feel so grateful to learn from so many diverse Black voices. My Instagram feed has a whole ‘new look’ now and it’s so nice to be welcomed into the lives of a diverse group of Black women on Instagram stories each day. Truly a joy!

I do not pretend to know the pain that our Black and BIPOC American citizens face and live with each and every day. Yet, I feel a powerful tug on my heartstrings to become an ally and to amplify their voices. They are already helping me grow as a person and helping me gain new insights every day. My husband and I have been having important conversations about history, the nightly news, and racism in our country. My heart is open to discuss all that I am learning about anti-racism. Becoming comfortable with honest conversations about racial injustice is an important part of my new growth.

If you would like to come along on this journey with me, you can find inspiring, new You Tube links on the Inspiration page of our blog. Check back often because I will continue to add more links. I feel a great deal of HOPE for this moment and our future. In America, we show courage when we face huge challenges. We must be brave for today’s children and their futures! I’m in this for the long walk…

There is a different energy in the garden this summer…

“We are the flowers of one garden.”

New growth is happening here!

 

♥ ♥ ♥

Hope you will share your thoughts with us!

Please share any books that are helping you grow, too.

I’ll be back very soon with the story of

this summer’s garden project!

Stay safe! Stay healthy!

 

Live a diverse life!

♡ Dawn

 

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21 thoughts on “New Growth…

  1. We are of the same heart in so many ways. I continue to rely on the belief that people of good hearts beyond their own circumstances will vote and continue this most wonderful day experiment that is the UNITED States of America. Bless all who focus on the wonders that Nature offers to us.
    Distant hugs and apologies to all who object to politics. I am usually with you!

    • So nice to hear from you today, dear Anne! There is so much we can learn when our hearts and minds are truly open. Maya Angelou’s words often came to mind as I read Austin’s powerful memoir ~ “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” 💕 So much new growth is happening!

      The powers of Nature can be so healing. When the news of the world and our country feels overwhelming, I dig in the garden for a bit of garden therapy. I have spent many, many hours digging in the dirt in Summer 2020. Be well, Anne. Sending air hugs for both you and your mom!💗

  2. Considering that each human person shares about 98% of their genetic material with every other human person puts the divisiveness on a different footing. We are being cruel to ourselves in a sense. We have small, very small, genetic differences, not really enough to consider differences, just small variations. It takes about 30 different genes to determine the amount of melanin in the skin. After I learned these things it makes some of the hateful things being said reveal how empty and false they are. There is no genetic basis for race. It is an artificial construct and it is a deep shame that we human beings allow ourselves to believe such falsehoods.

    • Thank you so much, Aquila, for joining in the conversation! It’s so interesting to stop and think about how much alike all humans are. Yet for many generations, many groups of humans have been so mistreated and marginalized. Systemic racism is deeply woven throughout our nation’s history. Progress toward racial justice has moved so slowly throughout my entire lifetime. Yet at this moment in time, it feels like change can finally happen. It might be the young people who can lead the way!
      There were three planned walks for racial justice in our suburb this summer. All of these peaceful Black Lives Matter marches were organized by recent high school graduates. They brought in speakers from the NAACP to speak to the crowd in the park. Although I wasn’t able to march with the crowds (due to family health concerns), I will definitely continue to amplify their voices and find other ways to support social justice. Humans all deserve to be treated fairly.
      Just as I celebrate the uniqueness of all the flowers growing in my garden, I love to honor and celebrate all of the cultural diversity of the American people. Our diversity is such a wonderful strength! “We are the flowers of one garden.”
      Thank you for being a special part of our blog, Aquila!
      Stay safe and healthy!💗

  3. You are back! And you have been missed! I so look forward to your words of encouragement that are so well thought out. Well, didn’t 2020 turn us on end? It wasn’t enough to have a worldwide pandemic that has impacted each and everyone of us; we have had racism rear it’s ugly head like we have not seen for decades. What bolstered my hope this time around was watching the protests for BLM that actually looked more white than I have ever seen! Those brave young people who took to the streets to protest racism. And then after almost 2 months of protest Moms and Dads are showing up in Portland with their flowers and leaf blowers to say ENOUGH. It gives me faith in humanity that someday, maybe someday, we can see the struggles that black people deal with everyday. While I have always tended to view life in shades of gray that really puts me on both sides of any battle, an opinion piece I read in The New York Times by Caroline Randall Williams, a poet, clearly made me see history differently. If you have not read it, I encourage everyone to google it.
    “If I have learned anything from life, it’s that sometimes the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places”. Daniel Keople
    Continue to stay safe. Take inspiration from the stars at night and life in the garden during the day.

    • You are too sweet, Chris! 💕 I always love hearing from you, my friend! I watched the memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda for Congressman John Lewis yesterday, with tears in my eyes. It was a powerful reminder of the necessary work we must do to solve America’s racial injustice. I am so proud of the young people who are taking the lead in peaceful protests.
      Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing the NYT opinion piece by Caroline Randall Williams. So powerful!! Her words certainly explain the true hurt caused by Confederate statues.
      You might really enjoy the book I’m Still Here. It is an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America. I wanted the book so that I could make notes and interact with Austin’s words. I’d love to hear her narrate the audio book, too.
      Huge hugs for your words of encouragement, Chris!
      Sending paper hugs across the miles!💗

  4. It’s so lovely to see a post from you, dear Dawn. I can always count on a thought provoking and interesting post from you. I applaud your thoughts here. I too, have much to learn about social injustice and by no means judge the pain our American brothers and sisters have felt through the long years of being ignored. Having grown up in the south I have a first hand account of many subtle issues that seemed okay, but really were not! I believe if we open our hearts and listen to our brothers and sisters we will find we all really want the same things. I pray that one day it will be true that “All men are created equal.”

    • Thank you so much for sharing your voice here today, Martha Ellen! It’s so important to talk about social injustice so that we can be part of the solution. Forty years ago, I enjoyed my years of teaching in a predominantly Black school. My students and I learned a great deal from one another. Such special memories! So often, I think of them and wonder about their experiences as they grew up, their education and job opportunities, and the families they are now raising. Although so many years have passed, I still worry about ‘my kids.’ I wonder what Lakeisha is doing today? Where is James working? Is Corey living in a safe place? Was Vanessa able to follow her dreams?
      Not much has changed over the past four decades in terms of social justice in our country. The more that I read and listen to Black voices sharing their stories, the more strongly I see the true need for allyship with people of color. We can all do our part to right the wrongs of racism here in America. I want to learn all that I can about anti-racism so that I can be a part of the change.
      Helpful Tip: Look for the Menu of our blog and click on Inspiration. Scroll down the page to find links to several You Tube videos that are helping me to feel ‘new growth.’ 👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏼
      It would be so interesting to hear some of your memories (even the very ‘uncomfortable’ ones) of growing up in the South, Martha Ellen. Hope you will share more sometime.
      I think of you so often, especially when I am in the garden, dear heart! I hope that you, Grayden, and Samuel are staying healthy and safe. It’s so hard to be apart from our loved ones during this pandemic. Time in our gardens and walks in Nature can help lift our spirits. Sending sunny hugs across the miles, my friend!💗

  5. Listening is a skill that has somewhat gone by the wayside because it’s not needed just to thumb the keys. You and those commenting have made some powerful points. I get the peaceful protests – they are upset that we haven’t made progress and are encouraging us to do more. However, I do wish the rioters would stop because in reality they are just pushing the real issue backwards and causing other grief, injury and loss of businesses. Enjoy your gardens for the respite they provide from so many of today’s issues.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us, Judy! Listening is key to understanding and growing. You are so right. We can all try a little harder to listen and grow.
      In my reading and listening, I am gaining so many new insights. I have learned that I shouldn’t just ask Black friends and family members to explain and teach me about racism. They already carry the heavy burden of walking through life experiencing racism day-by-day. It’s just not fair to ask them to teach me! However, as I do the work of learning and trying to understand, then I hope to have honest, open conversations with my cousins and friends. There is so much to learn…
      I support the peaceful BLM protests, too. After the Covid crisis, when it is safer for people to gather in crowds again, I hope I can walk in peaceful marches to lend my support! In early June, the violence that erupted in the Chicago protests was very frightening. Violence spread quickly into several suburbs as well. Towns took quick action to block the roads with city snowplows and trucks to prevent the rioters from damaging businesses. Fortunately, the protests in our suburb were very peaceful. But seeing our downtown windows all boarded up for a few weeks was very unnerving. People were invited to paint kind, supportive messages on all of the boarded up windows. Peaceful protests will hopefully lead the way to positive change.
      Yes, our gardens are such places of healing during these difficult, worrisome times. Judy, I always think of you as I dig in my garden! I so wish we were neighbors. Thank you again for telling me about the virtual garden tour last week. What fun to enjoy an evening walk through beautiful gardens with Master Gardeners in Wisconsin! Stay safe and healthy, dear Judy!
      Sending big hugs to New Hampshire!💗

  6. Welcome back Dawn, you have been missed by all. I can see how your lovely gardens give you a chance to reflect and bring you some peace as I know that you have been concerned about your parents during these trying times. Simple gifts from the heart…those are the best kind. I know your family and neighbors are most appreciative of your kindness and the lovely gifts.

    • Such a sweet thing to say, Karen! 💕 Time spent in the garden can truly lighten our worries. I have been heading out to the garden very early in the morning to work in a garden bed along our front porch. Then I follow the shade… wherever it leads me. So many weeds, so little thyme!
      So many of my blog posts over the years were composed in my garden. I love to ‘blog in my head’ as I putter in the garden and sit down at my blogging desk as soon as I come inside. The sunshine, birdsong, and colorful blossoms always inspire me to share a story!
      Thank you for being here, Karen. I loved your recent post about paper maps and European adventures. Hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy! Sending air hugs! 💗

  7. That sounds like a great memoir, Dawn. I love to read memoirs but this one sounds like it’s especially moving. I understand prejudice first hand even though I’m white. Growing up in the military we were exposed to every race and ethnicity so I didn’t see the difference. But being half American half German made me an outsider in both countries so I learned empathy at an early age as well as embracing differences. Still trying to figure out why it’s still an issue this day and age. It’s time for the dinosaurs to become extinct again. We need a new way of thinking in the world. We are all unique as it should be. I’ll put the book on my list. Love your garden flowers too. Gardening is my happy activity too.

    • It’s so nice to connect with all of my blogging friends, Marlene! So glad that you stopped to visit today! Austin Channing Brown’s memoir is both eye-opening and heart-opening at the same time. She shares the real reason her parents named her Austin. We learn about her first experience with racism as a seven-year-old child. Her memories made such an impact on me! My husband is reading it this week. So, I’m looking forward to discussing it with him. It’s a powerful memoir to add to your reading list! I know it will touch your heart in so many ways.
      Hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy, Marlene! When life becomes extra challenging it’s so nice to step outside for some much-needed garden therapy. Sunshine, gentle breezes, birdsong… and fragrant flowers can make our hearts smile. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Marlene.💕Stay safe and healthy!
      Sending warm hugs in your direction!💗

  8. Thank you for this lovely post. I’m learning more about some of the injustices and in some instances have been horrified. I was brought up to live by the golden rule…treat others as you would like to be treated. The more we discuss this, hopefully, the more educated people will become.
    Your garden is beautiful.
    Karen

    • Heartfelt thanks for being here and joining in the conversation, Karen. 💕 There is so much to learn. New insights and understanding about social injustice help us come together. Learning and new growth is an important step toward making long overdue change.
      Karen, I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. I think of all of my California friends as the Covid rates increase… and now the fires. Take extra good care, my friend! Be well!💗

  9. Wonderful post, Dawn, and I am way overdue in contacting you! I apologize for dropping the ball on getting together.
    What I want to share with you that’s relevant to your post: I’m part of a local group called Pizza and Social Justice, and we meet several times a month (now by Zoom) for conversations about antiracism. It was started by a married couple (he’s black, she’s white) to continue the conversation after a documentary called The Long Shadow (highly recommend, it’s on Amazon Prime to view now) came out a couple of years ago. I’d love to have you join us at Pizza and Social Justice – we meet the first and third Tuesday of the month, so tonight is our next meeting. All are welcome. https://www.pizzaandsocialjustice.org/ Click on the calendar for the date of the meeting to get the Zoom link to join between 6:45 and 7pm for a 7pm start. We have announcements, review our best practices (judgement-free zone, etc.), then watch a short video (often a TED talk) on something related to racial issues, then break out for discussion, then come back as a group to share what our reactions were. It’s a very nice group of people! I’m going to forward you an email with more info.

    • Soooo good to hear from you, Ginnie! Thank you for the beautiful email, too.💕 I always learn so much from you.
      Thank you so much for sharing the PSJ group with all of us! I’m very interested to learn more. So, I look forward to visiting the Pizza and Social Justice meeting via Zoom tonight! Maybe a few of our blog friends will be interested, too!
      Also… 👏🏻👏🏽👏🏻👏🏽👏🏻👏🏽
      Austin Channing Brown is having a Pop Up Book Club tomorrow, August 5th, at 1pm Eastern time.
      Go to @austinchanning on Instagram. This Book Club discussion of Chapter 1 will also be saved to IGTV for later viewing.
      I’m so grateful for both of these opportunities for more ‘new growth.’
      Heartfelt thanks for being here, Ginnie! Stay safe and healthy!💗

  10. What a heartwarming, encouraging post, Dawn. I’ve been missing blogging and missing the blogging of my friends. Yours made me smile just now in reading it and appreciating your words and have put “I’m Still Here” on my TBR list, which is abysmally long, though I suppose that’s a good thing as there are so many books to read. 🙂 Your garden looks splendid and I’m imaging you spending time in your paper garden as well. Be well and safe, Dawn. Thank you for this post. Penny

    • So glad to hear from you, Penny! It has been so hard to keep up with blogging with all that is going on in the world right now. I really miss visiting all of my special blogging friends! So, I know just how you feel, my friend.
      Penny, reading “I’m Still Here” last month made such an impression on me. Ever since, I’ve been intentional about making time each day to learn more about racial injustice. I’m so glad that you added this book to your long TBR list!
      We recently ordered lots of beautiful, new postage stamps online from the USPS. I really need to get busy in the Paper Garden making cards to mail. I want to help keep our Postal System going strong!
      I’ve been ‘busy as a bee’ working to ‘right-size’ my garden the past few weeks. By simplifying the front yard plantings, I hope to spend more time enjoying my gardens in the backyard.
      Sending big hugs, dear Penny! You are never more than a thought away!💗

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