On a gray day, when the sun
has been abducted, and it’s chill
end-of-the world weather,
I must be the sun.
I must issue forth a warmth
without discrimination, and any guarantee
it will come back to me.
Those are two stanzas I plucked from Thomas Centolella’s poem, Solar, and I think they’re beautiful but I’ll be honest: I am having a hard time being the sun lately. In fact, as the truth of this election settles in, I fall deeper and deeper down the well of despair.
For the sake of my own mental health and the energy of my heart, I have decided I cannot make politics a focus on this blog. I am fighting harder than I have ever fought before, through marching, calls to my representatives, and organizing locally, and I am using my voice as a writer to speak out against what is happening on other platforms. Please know that even when I am not writing about it explicitly here that I have not lost the fire. It is growing ever stronger by the day.
But I need this space to be a place of support and kindness and love, as it has always been. The readers of this blog give me such hope and I want this blog to remain a hopeful place.
So, I have an idea.
A friend once gave me a yellow envelope with a gift inside and asked me to pay it forward. The impact that envelope had on my life inspired my book and I hope that my book will inspire kindness and action in those that read it. But the book does not come out until April 2017 and we need kindness and action now.
I have on my desk a stack of 100 yellow envelopes and I’d like to mail you one. Once you’ve received it, I ask that you do something kind with the envelope. Write a note to someone you love, tuck a sticker inside and give it to a child, mail a donation to an organization you support, write yourself a freaking love letter and stow it away to be read a year from now. It doesn’t matter what you do with your yellow envelope; I only ask that you use it as a vehicle for love.
I know it might be hard for you to give your yellow envelope away. You’ll probably feel vulnerable and a bit shy or embarrassed. You might worry that you are overstepping or that your gesture won’t be received in the way you intend it to. But that’s just fear talking. Small acts of kindness matter and right now they matter a lot. In this chill, end-of-the-world weather, we must be the sun. (Also, we must fight like hell, but I think you already know that).
Will you help me spread a little love and kindness during a time when we so desperately need it? Send me an email with your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will mail you a yellow envelope.
I’ve started a Facebook page where you can share your story of giving or receiving if you want to. The page is new and under construction, but you can find it here.
So, will you join me? Email email@example.com or send me a message through my contact form.
These are the four yellow envelopes I’ll be carrying in my purse tomorrow (there’s a note inside and I’ll add a small gift to each, I’m thinking a coffee gift card, a sticker, or a poem). I don’t know who I’ll give them to, but just knowing a small act of kindness is on the horizon helps to lift my spirits.