This past weekend, we were called together in retreat to create good trouble with courageous peace. On the surface, the words are pretty and speak directly to our liberal ears. Dig a little deeper, and the question, at least for me, becomes “how?”

When all around us seems bleak – strife on college campuses, war and genocide across the world, fear and hatred of each other in our own country, and a heating planet – HOW do we keep the fire alive to maintain the inspiration to keep up the good fight?

In walk the Bengsons. From a well of agony mixed with pure joy, the duo tells us that “hope comes from the place where the hurt comes.” With a radiant smile, Abigail Bengson sings to us that “we are not alright.” When I experienced this song for the first time this weekend, I was reminded that, if we are courageous, our spirits are wide enough and strong enough to hold both truths at the same time. It is because peace, connection, and love bring us joy that war and destruction bring us despair. It is from this combination of dark and light that we must draw our hope. And the Bengsons also remind us that hope is an action. It is not enough to wish for a better world; we must do a better world. We are humankind. We are not just the problem. We are the solution. We are both.

I invite you to take a listen. If you were blessed to attend the retreat, take a second listen. If you were unable to be there, I implore you to take a moment and take in this song. You won’t regret it.

The Bengsons and I invite you to crack open your heart and let it all in.

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JOURNEY WITH US: The Climate Action Team is for you because, well, the planet needs your urgent action – and we need each other as we navigate these changing times. Learn all about the group here,  and check out our minutes and take action table, our lending library and the Carbon Offset Fund. You can also request to join the Climate Action Team on Realm. Contact Nicole Haines to connect to the CAT and join us for our next Zoom meeting on Monday, May 20, at 7:30 PM at this link. Please bring friends to the free poetry and photography showcase on May 2 in the social hall!