The past few weeks – seriously, WTF. I haven’t posted on my blog for a while, and recently committed to staying muted in my Instagram feed for a week to allow space for the voices that need to be heard. Though racial equality is something I care so deeply about and have always stood for, I know that as a white woman it’s more helpful for me to learn and listen above anything else, and let the voices of those suffering to have presence above mine.
I have been re-thinking my feed as I debate posting again, I have to be honest and say I feel lost. Things feel SO heavy right now, there are so many enormous issues in the world and there just doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. I was actually doing good – feeling like justice was finally going to be served, equality in the world reached, a pandemic tackled, and just out of nowhere it all crashed down. The pinnacle of it all was the death of my bird.
This isn’t a pet bird, it’s a wild bird that made her home on my porch this week. You might think this sounds dumb, but she was perfect. She built the most perfect little nest in the wreath on my front door, and laid the four most perfect little blue eggs. She wasn’t afraid of us, and she would sit on our fence and watch proudly over her nest all day. She was innocent and joyful, probably the first thing the girls and I have been excited about in who knows since when. We named her “Flutter” and I would toss the blueberries Vienna refused at snack time out the front door to the side of the hedges to make sure she had something to eat without venturing too far away from her nest. I have been making fabric face masks for neighbors and leaving them on my porch to be picked up, and every time someone messaged me they had come by to get theirs, they would say “your little momma bird is so cute”. She was such a welcome little light of positivity, just a simple and innocent joy that reinvigorated the feeling within me that everything will be okay.
Sunday, mid-day, I peeked out my front porch window to see if there were any masks left to be picked up, and there on the corner of my porch was Flutter. Dead, half eaten, with her skull exposed, eyeball missing. No way, I told myself. No way. I opened the door, and there was her perfect little nest, now a pile of rubbish on my porch, with not a single piece of perfect speckled blue eggshell in sight. I lost it. Not a little… like a full day of ugly crying, lost it. It was the literal straw that broke the camel’s back.
Looking at Flutter’s dead body felt like I was looking at a culmination of this year. Something that started with joy, love and ambition, and is now a decaying pile, devoid of any hope. Her tiny precious corpse was the most real metaphor I have ever experienced in my life. Staring at the massacre on my porch I saw the pandemic, the loss of my job of 8 years which accompanied the loss of many friendships. I felt the emotion of every job I have applied for that I was so excited about, and didn’t hear a word back. The financial uncertainty I have been claiming doesn’t bother me. The family vacations that were rescheduled, rescheduled again, and ultimately cancelled. My daughters who can’t see their grandparents… watching my baby live through the most precious moments of life with no one other than me to snuggle and witness. The racial injustices happening all over the US, especially right here in Seattle. The fact that I tried to take my half- Mexican daughter out for ice cream and ended up in the middle of a white-power rally. The fact that every single day (more like every single hour) I log on to social media hoping to see some breakthrough in the peaceful protests, but find video of the elderly being smashed to the pavement by over-zealous officers, and peaceful protesters hosed with mace over and over. Yes, I looked at this tiny dead bird and saw this all.
As I cried and processed all these feelings coming to the surface, I reflected a lot too. One thing I have realized is that I have not been posting or writing in hopes to give others a voice, but I have my own too and, I can’t completely stifle it. Writing is very therapeutic for me, and I love interacting with my followers. Sadly with how locked down everything has been, if I cut myself off from internet interaction I basically cut myself off from everyone I care about, and I just can’t do that for my own mental health.
Also, I do know in addition for standing up for BLM and all people of color, that I am a wife to a Mexican American and have two beautiful bi-racial daughters, that we raise with a whole lot of intent. The toys we buy, the movies we watch, the books we read… we have always made an effort to include diversity and things that will make them proud of both their European and Hispanic heritage. These girls have family members of every single skin color, and we talk about this openly, in hopes of raising two smart, strong women who are both racially conscious, and also never feel an ounce of shame or despair for who they are. I have never talked about this on my blog before as I figured people were just here for my food and northwest content, but now I recognize there is value in these topics and plan to incorporate them.
Lastly, I do plan to continue to share about food all the time. I believe food is truly a love language, one that exists without barriers since a meal cooked from the soul says it all. Dinner tables are places that deep conversations happen, and important topics are addressed. Sharing food from one culture to another is a great way to open your heart and share your story, your heritage, or to receive the stories of others. Every human needs sustenance, and you can learn so much about a culture with just a few bites of a home cooked meal. On top of that, the way you eat can impact your health, and even impact the health of our planet… two things I believe (and know) are important!
So where does this all leave me? Even just writing this post I feel a million times better, so thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on this space, and tuning in as I do so. There are many causes I believe in, and things that bring me joy, both which I have so much conviction for that I want to share it with you! I will continue to do so, and I hope with this recent thought that what I put out in the blogger-verse will be better than ever.
Ok so check in – how are you? How have the past few weeks effected you and your family? Is there something you need to get off your chest? Is your mental health okay? One HUGE thing I want to remind you of – this year is one that makes the history books. Like, the WHOLE THING. My husband’s grandmother is 95 years-old, and told us she has never lived through anything like our current pandemic. My parents and their peers have said that even back in the 1970’s when they were growing up, they knew there were white supremacists and people who believed in that kind of hate, but they never saw them out in the streets, actively displaying these horrible emotions like I have seen in-person this past week. This all feels so overwhelming because IT IS. There are so many more things to process now than ever before in our lives, so please hang in there, even if sometimes, that is all you are doing.
This year is a big one. Nothing is normal right now… don’t loose sight of that. If you feel helpless, remember there are things you can do. You can vote. You can advocate. You can share facts with friends, have intelligent conversations. Heck, we are in the middle of a pandemic! You can just stay home and stay safe and that is enough too. On top of it all, never forget the importance of the health of your mind and soul – the weight of all this can absolutely drag you down if you do not acknowledge it! Meditate, do yoga, exercise, breathe fresh air, let the sun hit your skin, read a book… these are all things that help me and I encourage you to try them too.
I do hope you are well, and enjoy the conversation that comes from these posts. As always, I am here to talk, anytime.
X.O. – Abbey Co.