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Dear ones,

I’m extremely grateful for the communities I have been and continue to be a part of – for the inspiration we derive from teach other and the support of community. I’m grateful for the summer days where we walk or bike together to picnic by the river and breathe in the freshness of the air, or hike up the North Hills of Missoula to look out on the community we love and the landscapes that give us life and purpose. I’m grateful for the way that walking to work in the winter allows me to look out over the railing of bridges to watch ice floating below, witness herons fishing close to the edge of the water, and truly feel the cool air on my skin before I walk gratefully into the warmth of a friendly office building.

It doesn’t feel as dreary as it could, at a time when the evidence of climate change is supporting every decision to bike, walk, grow our own food, and reduce our overall impact on the earth we love. It does feel heavy. It does feel like we’re out of time. It is impacting my decision to have children. It is impacting how much thought I put into buying simple things like toilet paper, or whether or not there is a greater guilt for wasting food or using a take out box.

At the same time, there is just so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful for an education that prepared me to think critically, for familial values that taught me to think of others and act with empathy, and for some fierce indignation that manifests itself in letters to representatives and marching in unison to call attention to the plight of the planet and her people.

My hope is that these letters drift into the wind and become a silly relic of time just before we came together to protect the world we love, and those we love within it.

With hope,

Bailey

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