I can be brave enough to wake up.

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Alysha Goheen
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My darling girls,

I can’t even tell you how much you have changed my life for the better. I feel like before you were born, I almost exclusively thought of myself. What I wanted. What I didn’t want. I was asleep in a drama of my own self-obsession. But something about growing and feeding you with my own body. Those nights spent holding, walking, rocking – broke something open in me. A great love for not just you – but a greater care for others, a greater appreciation for beauty, and so much more tenderness around my hopes for the future.

In addition to being endlessly thankful for having your bright light in the world, I am immensely grateful to have grown up in the woods. To know in my body the sound of the wind, the smell of the pines, and the comfort of dirt on my skin. To know the peace of being just one small part of an infinite, integrated natural word.

And now it is so evident that through our greed and unawareness that your future, the future of the children everywhere, as well as the natural world is in peril. For a very long time this was happening before I allowed myself to feel it. It is a deep heartbreak – so deep and dark that is aches through my limbs.

And yet I know that letting myself feel into this heartbreak is an important step. It is from this further opening, this letting myself break open that I can find my clarity, my efficacy, my way into what little me can do in this most important time. I can be brave enough to wake up. I can notice my actions – those which help heal and connect and move forward the needed change and notice as well those which come from selfishness, laziness, my desire to consume and distract.

I can start small – riding my bike whenever possible. I can think carefully and slowly about what I consume. I can have deep and real conversations with those I love. I can find the beauty in all that surrounds me. I can find my way towards collective action and advocacy. I can help coalesce; help lead. I can move beyond my own limitations. Because for you, my darling girls, I would do anything. For you my beautiful woods, for all people and animals and amazing ecosystems, this is my call to dare to grow beyond myself.

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