In this world that is changing before our eyes, I believe that is our task: standing unflinchingly on the side of love, connecting with others, and forging ahead together.

Sent on by
Abby Huseth
Send Your Own Message

Dear Soren,

I’ve been meaning to write this letter to you for a while now. In a way, I’ve been meaning to write it ever since I felt you kick for the first time and it hit me that you were real – a tiny person, mine and the world’s. 

The summer that I was pregnant with you saw the worst wildfire season in Western Montana in over a generation. For nearly six weeks straight, smoke from fires both near and far filled the Missoula Valley. Staying indoors as much as possible, I was grateful for portable air cleaners going nonstop but feeling cooped up started to take its toll. I worried about the smoke’s impact on your tiny developing lungs, but also about how the longer, more intense and frequent smoke seasons predicted for Missoula in the coming years would cast a dark shadow over your childhood experience of summer. 

Now as I write this letter more than two years later, I’m looking out the window in the middle of January to a nearly snow-less valley here in Missoula. So far at least, it feels like the winter that hasn’t been. The warmer temperatures and dry sidewalks are strange and unsettling. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Australia is burning, engulfed in bushfires that are ravaging landscapes, killing unprecedented numbers of precious wild animals, and endangering human health and lives. This is just one of many climate-fueled disasters in recent memory. It is heartbreaking – it should be heartbreaking – and yet, the global response to this devastation – and to the climate crisis in general – has been desperately inadequate. We add it to the list of bad things happening; keep our emotional distance. I, too, am often guilty of compartmentalizing my sadness just to get through the day. Have we reached our collective limit and are unable – or unwilling – to feel the pain of those suffering from climate chaos, near or far? Is this what coping with the climate crisis looks like?

I refuse to accept this. It won’t be easy, but I promise to reject the forces of apathy, isolation, and defeat that tug ever more forcefully as this crisis worsens, and try their best to harden us to the pain of the world. 

Instead, I promise to embrace the forces of love, connection, and courage. 

Though my spiritual journey has been winding and rocky, one truth I return to and that is reflected in all the great world religions is the call to an ever-widening circle of love and care. From mother to son, to neighbors, to community, to country, to the world, and to all living beings and landscapes: as humans, we exist for love. 

This means we are bound to be heartbroken. In fact, that’s the normal response, and we need to create space for that grief and bring it to the surface, otherwise it turns to poison that numbs us from the inside out. But heartbreak isn’t the end of the story, and the answer isn’t to stop caring. Paradoxically, heartbreak can be mended with more of the same thing that caused it: love. 

In this world that is changing before our eyes, I believe that is our task: standing unflinchingly on the side of love, connecting with others, and forging ahead together. I promise to do this to the best of my ability, by being engaged in my community, voting and participating as an active citizen, taking what personal actions I can, and always seeking to widen my circle of concern. I desperately hope that I have been a good, if flawed, role model for you as you’ve learned to navigate this beautiful but hurting world.

As I write this, you are about to turn two in a couple months. You’re talking up a storm and opinionated and silly and sweet. I knew I would love you, but I had no idea just how much you would delight me, and how much I’d just plain enjoy being with you. I have no doubt that, as you read this 30 years from now, these feelings remain just as strong. And it fills me with love and pride to think about all the possible things you might be doing out there in the world, being your Soren self. 

I promise to do all I can, today and every day of the rest of my life, to turn my love into action, and never stop working to build the kind of world that you – and all children – deserve.

With all my love,

Mama

Share on:
 
Send Your Own Message

More Messages to the Future

 

Dear Tomorrow

Stay Cool and Save the Whales

 

Dear Future Me: Only open after March 4th, 2050

I don’t regret my past ventures, nor do I believe I will regret my future ventures, but I’ve learned that I’ve needed to manifest these experiences into actions of sustainable development and conservation and protection of our environment.

 

Dear Future Generations,

Dear Future Generations,

 

To the future generations,

I will stand on the streets, in the courts, and in the schools to encourage awareness and empathy for the earth.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to clean the earth.

 

People of tomorrow,

Your path will only be as clear tomorrow as we have made it for you today.

 

Dear Thomas,

When you look at me with those big beautiful eyes and that innocent smile, you make me want to fight harder. And I do.

 

To my dear children in the year 2050,

I don’t wish to go backwards, but I do wish we would slow down and design our brave new world with more care.

 

Dear Matthew, Sam, and Sophie,

There is a promise in the Bible: ‘I shall restore the years that the locusts have eaten’ and that points to a promise of complete healing and restoration. But until that comes I intend to do my best to ‘save the planet’ in whatever way I can, and I encourage you to do the same.

 

Dear World,

The environment is important – take care of your actions to not destroy it starting from now.

 

To my children,

If there is one thing that I taught you it is to be honest in your decisions as they pertain to yourselves and the earth in which you live.

 

For a child I am yet to know,

We are fighting for a shared cause, inspired by our strong and unwavering dedication to preserve the beauty and wonder of our natural world for our children, our grandchildren and their children, and for countless generations to come.

View All Messages

Send Your Own Message