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Twyla Neely-Streit
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To my potential children,

I’m eighteen right now. I’m irresponsible and argumentative and not the person who might someday create you just yet; but I’m getting there. I’m finishing my first year at college and as I’m sure I will have told you, it is quite a time in a person’s life. If you had asked me even a few months ago what my goals were, I would have laughed. Now I have a legitimate answer to that question—or the beginnings of one. I’m an environmental science major and as of now I am very certain that I will remain on this path. Who knows, maybe by the time you read this I’ll be a bonafide adult! An engineer or a scientist, an architect or an advocate? Who could say? But I hope it will be something that has made you proud, and I hope that it will be something that has made the Earth proud. There are no opinions I care about more.

I’ll be honest, honey, it could all turn out that way, but as for now I don’t have high hopes for the future. Currently Trump is president, sea levels are rising, and so are temperatures. There is little positivity, little compassion, little understanding. This is a time in which climate change equates guilt, anger, conflict, politics; things that as your mother I wish you never had to encounter, though I know you will. Because I can imagine a future in which these things continue and you are reading this letter from under your smog mask or inside your oxygenated apartment on the 50th floor in a super-city. A future in which people remain scared and no one takes responsibility. But these thoughts make me feel gross inside and this letter is not meant to be about fear or darkness. Because here I am, in my present, trying my best to take some responsibility. So maybe things will be better some day!

I can also picture you reading this under the shade of a birch tree at Honeyrock or in my childhood home. Breathing in clean air, touching plants, loving a dog just like I do. I will choose to hope for the second. I chose to hope that we will be there together! That young, lazy people like myself will get our acts together and become the innovators that the world needs. Wish me lucky honey. I will see you in a month for my grandson’s graduation. I am so proud of all of you, and love you with my entire being.

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More Messages to the Future

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to clean the earth.

 

Dear Future

My hope is for all who live in your time to still know the joy of swimming in the ocean, walking through the woods, and hiking in the mountains.

 

Dear Daughter,

I want you to be prepared for the world that the generations before you are creating for you. I love you Lucienne, and I will not give up. I will push you and teach you not to give up, either, even if others around you do.

 

Dear Hailey and Lily,

We know about this. If we don’t fix this for you, it’s our fault.

 

I promise to plant more flowers.

 

Minha pequena Nicole ainda não nos conhecemos, mas já te amo

Deixo para você o meu quintal onde o ar é perfumado pelas flores e árvores, a terra dá frutos e flores além de abrigar muitos bichinhos, a água é utilizada com consciência e o ser humano é respeitado e tratado como alguém que depende da natureza para VIVER.

 

Dear my future child,

I promise you, I am going to do everything I can to save this planet for you. I won’t let you down, I swear.

 

Dear Leo,

Last week I took you to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I have solar and will be getting an electric car next week

 

Dear girls,

I love you and I care deeply about your future.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to ride more and drive less.

 

Dearest Gray,

When I asked you why the purple Violet called to you, you told me it was “magic”. I hope that you can still find the magic of life. I hope, despite everything, it is still in abundance.

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