Heal This Land – Heal Yourself
What to do when the world is on fire and so are you? How service, citizenship and volunteerism can help both heal the planet and your heart and mind.
Checking in after most of the summer off
Hey heyyy! Summer is winding down and I’m back to my laptop typing away, ramping up for the new academic year and some new and exciting things here at How Women Heal. Amazing things coming soon!
Just returned from a quick trip to Cairo, Egypt following a sojourn in Jubail, Saudi Arabia (my present home) for the first half of the summer…and a spa town in Germany called Bad Nauheim for the second half of my holiday…I find myself returned to Saudi feeling both refreshed and tired from the travel.
I’m not complaining in the least. Mentally, it was great to switch off. I needed it. I highly recommend that we all take advantage of the time off. It’s called ‘rest and recovery’. Teaching professionals and many of us facing the demands of work and life need the down time. I hope you had a good rest even for a couple of weeks this summer. We need it!
But the world around us doesn’t stop…what’s going on?!
I came back, mindful of the images I had seen of both progress in Cairo and poverty that I remember seeing 20 years ago when I visited that city (we drove through the city slums, which looked not that different from the poorest district of Frankfurt, which I saw from the train). It made me realize we are a hardy planet with a complex set of circumstances. I always return from any trip cognizant of my privileges as a Canadian expat working in Saudi Arabia.
And anyone who knows me knows…I consume the least amount of news that I can in order to stay globally informed, but at present a lot is happening. So, I’ve had the news on since returning home and the stories have been rolling in.
People are suffering
My book editor’s home in Texas flooded, and a few of my other Facebook friends’ homes, too, were affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Watching everyone nobly handle that while, too, I sense their pain triggered my desire to help. I did what I could. I offered to donate to a crowdfunding campaign if needed and donated to a fund which purchases and provides new and clean underwear for disaster survivors.
The same hurricane nearly leveled everything in Barbuda, which reminds me of the Asian tsunami I found myself uncomfortably near, too…I felt the earthquake in Penang, Malaysia. The Caribbean island that bore the brunt of this natural force, Barbuda, reminds me of the haunting devastation of Banda Aceh in Indonesia – which made me look up how Aceh is doing today – much better, of course.
Hurricane Irma is headed for Florida, where former students of mine are anxiously waiting at the airport for a flight out while another Facebook friend worries about family who are sitting out the storm.
Meanwhile, yet another Hurricane Jose is headed straight for Barbuda again in another natural assault against man. We humans are small in the face of real nature. Mother Earth is perhaps telling us something, no?
We’ve got the planet warming up, and now I’ll fast track this conversation just to say: we all know there are a number of big and very real concerns on the planet. What on earth is one to do about the effects of the economy, the effects of politics, the effects of war crimes against people in many hotspots on this planet (Burma currently in the news…but there are so many others)? What? What do we do?