Grief felt insurmountable the other night. Like an undertow in the ocean, that takes us by surprise. In an actual undertow you would swim parallel to the beach as opposed to straight towards it. That is the way out of the rip tide. Swimming sideways, when we think we should be heading directly to shore.
Grief began with the frustration of trying to facilitate distance learning for Birch, my 7 year old son and my own perceived lack of value based on how challenged I feel at the prospect of educating my son while succeeding as a female entrepreneur.
Birch hated distance learning. I am not really a fan either. It feels terrible to pop him in front of the screen for hours at a time in the name of education. I say that with no judgment of anyone who is choosing that path with their children. It is without a doubt a great option for many families. And my accolades to the teachers. What a daunting job.
Birch and I went for a kayak in the little pond behind out house. I am pretty sure I caught a glimpse of one of the otters that lives back there. Playful and territorial creatures. We played with my plant id app and realized a plant that I thought might have been a weed because there is so much of it are white ash treelings. So many ash trees have died due to the emerald ash borer. I felt a glimpse of hope seeing that they had dropped seeds and those seeds are sprouting. Earth wants to restore. Earth wants equilibrium.
The grief that arose tonight (d)evolved into the grief for the women in ICE centers having hysterectomies without consent and the children who are neglected and abused because they are home instead of in school, the toxicity in the environment, the fires on the west coast. All these big global disasters. The fear about the upcoming election. The pain of not knowing, as a parent, how to continue to support a home and a child in a collapsing economy. The grief of not knowing how to protect my child in this world, and I am white. I cannot even fathom how much exponentially harder it is to be BIPOC right now as a parent. The grief of whiteness. And I am not talking about the weaponized tears of white women. That is not grief. That is something else. I am talking about the grief of looking at intrinsic racism and unpacking the pain of it on a grand scale.
I grieved hard that night. The circumstances that underlie the grief have not changed, but moving the grief has given me more space in my self to open my heart and love and be loved.