So far, I’ve shared some pandemic coping resources for your body and your mind/spirit. Today I want to share some for your community. I’m talking to many folks who are figuring out practices, routines, and ways of being that are improving their personal sense of well-being. But even if our own well-being seems steady (ish, with plenty of room still for ups and downs), we don’t have to look very far outside ourselves to see the tremendous suffering in happening in our communities, our country, and across the globe. Suffering on the global pandemic scale is so very hard to hold. Our brains have no real way of reconciling so much pain, and it is easy (and understandable) to turn away from it, particularly if we are feeling helpless and out of control ourselves. But we don’t have to turn away.
You can make a difference (beyond staying home), even while staying home.
Covid-19, this tiny organism invisible to the naked eye, has done a phenomenal job magnifying and highlighting the incredible inequities in our systems. If anything good comes of this situation, it is that we do not go back to ‘normal’. Instead, we need to take this time and what it is illuminating to co-create a new normal. On the other side of Covid-19, I hope that equity, compassion, resilience, and justice hold far greater weight than consumerism and power. There are local organizations doing this work in all sorts of different ways, from building more resilient food systems to ensuring safe housing. There are countless ways to get involved. Consider checking out…
The Resilience Hub, based in Portland, Maine, has focused on resiliency for many years through the lens of permaculture. Although in person programming is paused, they have many free online opportunities for learning and connection. Upcoming events include talks and demonstrations around several different aspects of growing food as well as some book clubs on climate change topics and more just economic systems.
Sherri Mitchell, Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset, is an incredibly wise author, teacher, and activist from the Penobscot Nation. Her book, Sacred Instructions, as a valuable source of insight and inspiration for personal, community, and spiritual development grounded in authentic relationship between the human and more than human world. During the pandemic, Sherri is posting interviews with other wise and fascinating folks as well as calls to action on her website. Sheri is an incredible advocate for social justice and community resiliency.
Mainers Together is a mutual aid organization that emerged in response to the pandemic. They have space and need for volunteers, donors, and advocates.
If you are one of those who has the privilege to have enough right now, and maybe even a little extra, consider a donation to those that may not. Maine Initiatives is coordinating a Covid-19 Community Care Fund. These funds will go to grassroots organizations who are led by and working on behalf of those most impacted by this crisis (indigenous communities, immigrants, low income folks, those marginalized through homelessness, disability, etc.)
If you have a little extra time to get creative about how you feed yourself, check out the amazing Maine Farm and Seafood Product and Pickup Directory. Farmers and fisherpeople have to be creative and adaptable always, and their years spent honing those skills are so beneficial to all of us now! They have done a phenomenal job adapting to serve their customers, who practically overnight started eating and shopping in entirely different ways. My body and spirit feel nourished by the first spring greens of the year as well as the last of 2019’s potato and carrot crop. I also feel like I’m genuinely supporting an absolutely essential worker. The importance of a resilient food system is now more clear than ever, and we are so lucky to live in a place that actually does have the skills, interest, and land base to feed itself.
Consider engaging with one of these or another community resiliency option–building connection and agency matter for our communities and ourselves.