Even as the gray clouds gathered and I rode my bicycle eastward toward Waterloo, the colors whirled and zoomed around me. Yellow and black, red and brown, red and black, brown and white, white and blue, and blue all over — all swirling in front and above and around the wooded path. Their songs penetrated my earbuds playing the soundtrack to my exercise routine. I turned off the music so I could truly hear theirs and once again I was struck by the abundance of nature.
We have that abundance too. Peddling along the lakefront pavement from city through State Park, I was struck by the colors of human beings even before I entered the songbird nation. Blonde and black, light brown and pale white, pink and tan, reddish and deep brown, gray and white — the shades of our skin and hair are fabulously varied along an almost endless spectrum. My heart opened wide to the beauty of human abundance even amidst the sumptuousness of nature — steel blue lake on one side and lush verdant meadows on the other.
Like you I am in anguish about the sepsis of racism poisoning a young White boy’s mind. But others too. Those who are fearful of our abundance and instead of its beauty see a mirage of their own making, some bizarre delusion that appears to threaten their own existence. Like you, I am angry and heartsick, with rage toward open access to weapons of war sold like sticks of candy, and at the same time pulled into compassion and grief with friends and allies of all colors and ethnicities.
Why don’t White people have a better common voice against the prurient racism curdling the minds of a fascist fringe? We need a loud and pervasive witness of White people for a multiracial and multiethnic majority.
There are more lovers than haters out there. It may not seem like it when a monster from the cesspool creeps out and kills, but I have witnessed abundant beauty, compassion, and loving-kindness overwhelm and heal the wounds of hatred. Still, we need to rise up, raise our voice in a demonstration that an overwhelming majority of White people welcome and celebrate the coming of a truly multiracial, multiethnic nation. White people now share in a beautiful array of diversity, but the day cannot come fast enough when we are truly just one among many.
Returning westward, breaking around the northern shore of the lake, the church spires of Geneva came into view with gray clouds behind them consumed in a dark blue cast. Churches have in the past been a source of leadership and courage, I hope we can be again — now. Whatever storm is brewing we must stand and give voice that we, Euro-Americans, reject and resist the virus of racism no matter who is infected or spreading it.
As I arrived home a red-winged blackbird was perched at the edge of our yard, singing that unique song that begins as an alto note on the wind and thins into a staccato sound that can’t really be called music. His red wing glittered in the light.
There is so much varied beauty around us, and so many who can see and adore the splendor. There are more lovers than haters out there.
Cam Miller says
May it be so.
Tim Long, Just Up the Hill from Lock 15 says
Thanks. Still holding fast here, to that simple hope. And still noticing the gulls and pelicans floating over the big river as though all is well.
Cam Miller says