by Diana Piedra
Today was a sunny day in Chicagoland.
We are lucky to have a sunny day filled with such vibrancy in the middle of the Winter season. Of course, the elephant in the room is laughing in his peanuts which have been warmed by ozone depletion. I take a deep sigh into my coffee cup, the steam warming my face, and I begin to wonder how the water protectors in North Dakota are faring today. They have been standing in peace for months against a government takeover of treaty land for the construction of an oil pipeline that will twist its venomous way through the country and rivers for the sake of money and greed. The enemy that has promised to protect the people and the land with liberty and justice for all, clutches their riot gear as they stare into the faces of native elders who are clinging to all they know, all they have left.
I take in a deep breath of java filled joy. I stare out of the window and pray for the safety of our bravest demographics. Heroes that may seem unlikely but heroes nonetheless. Our Mexican American friends who mow our lawns, pick our berries, attend school with our children, pray to the same God, and have dreams of college and beyond. Dreams. My eyes close. Deep sigh.
I think of the refugees from the African Congo, Syria, and Somalia- their pictures have been posted and shared more times than I can count. Their blood soaked clothes, their emaciated bodies and longing eyes flash in my mind. Yet somehow desensitization has permeated the global consciousness and I wonder when we will feel again?
I wonder when our children, who have been polarized by propaganda and partisan poison, will start to remember that everyone loves hop scotch and hugs. And that skin color makes someone special and different and that is beautiful. Our beauty is in our differences and we all want the same thing, to be accepted, happy, and loved.
The sound of the squeaky school bus brakes interrupts my morning sit. The silence is now the sound of children laughing and talking. I rush to the window to see my daughter run up the black corrugated steps, her ponytail and pink coat disappear as the doors close.
"Hey! Where's my kiss?" I say aloud.
Heading back to the computer I am overcome with emotion. It's all so beautiful and so scary at the same time. I look at the list of contributors to the free Peace event I am hosting in our community in a month. We have representatives from the local homeless shelter, World Relief advocates who assist refugees, a congressional candidate with a platform of peace and a fresh young approach, and the local animal shelter. I realize these heroes aren't stopping anytime soon. They aren't even close to giving up and neither am I.
I have always been a very spiritual person. Even at a young age, anytime I would be in a house of worship or in a spiritual setting, I was moved in a very deep way (often brought to tears). I became interested in learning about different religions at a young age and naturally found my way to teaching yoga (at 20 years old). I had a heart felt desire to connect with Source and found yoga to be my moving prayer. Yoga has been stabilizing, empowering, and nurturing to me all of my adult life. It is the most important thing I do. Feel feee to join me at Abhyaasa yoga in downtown Naperville on Sundays to practice and congregate.