“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”. – Helen Keller
Lately I’ve been a lot of looking up. Craning my neck to look up to the sky and watch the clouds move or capture the illustrious hues of a summer sunset in Minnesota. For me, looking up has always been something that inspires me in a metaphorical kind of way. I often think about my favorite Helen Keller quote and of all the obstacles she had to overcome in life to achieve her dreams. I am reminded to look up more often instead of looking down or even worse, away.
I have been spending a lot more time this summer chasing the sunset. Perhaps getting a new puppy has inspired me to get out even more than I normally do (which is a lot as I love being outside). Yet little did I know how important it was to find peace and beauty each and every day by watching the sunset. Even if I only am there for a few brief moments to look up and capture the spectacular dance of changing colors and light, it has an extraordinary impact on me. I feel lighter footed when I leave and more connected to our planet and the comings and goings of each day. Furthermore, I finally feel at peace.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart”. – Helen Keller
With so much sadness, grief, fear and intolerance in the world today these moments spent at the lake watching the sun set reassures me that life will go on and somehow things will be ok. It is a way for me to find peace and leave behind the tragic headlines and sorrow that are hard to escape every time I pass a newsstand, a TV or turn on my computer.
“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained”. – Helen Keller
Sometimes I wonder how I will ever raise my children to live in a world of so much violence and hate. How to tell them that they shouldn’t fear going to school or the movies or a night club or a peaceful protest. That they shouldn’t ever fear who they are or what they believe in. That they should stand up for what is wrong and what is right. It is an overwhelming feeling to know how much there is to overcome. Yet this is nothing compared to my friends who are different than me because of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs or their sexual identity.
“We may have found a cure for most evils; but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings”. – Helen Keller
I’ve got my work cut out for me as a parent. I just have to remember to not feel so powerless and helpless about the current state of affairs. I know I’m only one person but hopefully using my voice in a silent protest will make a difference even if it is small. It is better than saying nothing at all.
“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision”. – Helen Keller
As I remember all the senseless deaths our country has tragically faced and the awful rise of intolerance, I will try my best to fight and keep my face to the sky. If I look away, nothing will change.