1965 on the 'Edmund Pettus bridge' was a defining moment in my life. I was only 10 years old but I made a life-long decision that day; my life was meaningless if I didn't live it fighting injustice. I am 65 years old, and although I am no John Lewis, I have taken his call to 'good trouble' seriously. 55 years ago I knew my faith would not stand along side apathy and injustice. As I watched John Lewis cross the river today, I took a photo off the TV as his body rested half way across the bridge. I said to myself, 'John Lewis, you led us half way there, thank you!' Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. set us on the path, and now in the year 2020 it is time for us as a people to struggle on and finish the dream set before us. I probably will not live to see the finish line but maybe, like John Lewis, I can taste the victory and know that equality can be realized in this country. The BLM is taking up the banner and marching forward. Wonderful things are happening, but we have such a long way to go to defeat racism and bigotry. One of my heroes crossed the bridge today to be met with a victor’s reward. Unlike 1965 when he was beaten and almost lost his life. Miraculously, he lived and served and now is greeted with the words from his Lord, 'Well done my good and faithful servant'. When I read John Lewis' book I was in awe of his gentle and courageous spirit. Always loving, always forgiving. I know that I am quick to retaliate and to hold grudges. As I travel my last days here on this Earth, I will aspire to not only take up the banner of justice but to call upon John to help me with the humble part. A great man who followed a greater God has walked among us. Let us follow him and honor him by creating a world of justice, courage and compassion.
There is not enough good news lately. And way too much bad news. When I began to write this journal piece, I decided it had to be encouraging. Well here is the thing, two days ago I fell outside while walking down to the lake. I sprained my ankle and tore a ligament in it and now it looks like I swallowed a baseball and it fell straight through me to my foot! I thought quarantined was bad, well turns out it's not. Being bedridden in pain, now that's bad. Here is the encouraging part; I didn't break anything. I had no plans anyway and I have learned to be much more careful and deliberate in my movements. I can still laugh and I can still hope. Joy does not ever walk away, we just sometimes don't feel like experiencing it. As soon as we laugh, as soon as we lighten up, fear and anxiety fly away. Distraction is very important right now during this present upheaval. Perspective is an amazing healer. It always comes with a dose of gratitude. I have continually sought the beauty in this tragic moment. Not to ignore the pain but to lighten the pain. Gratitude has been my drug of choice. With my fall I kept telling myself how truly lucky I was for not breaking something worse. So while I'm feeling pretty frustrated and looking for some light at the end of the tunnel, I look inward, that's where the light is. Just gotta pull that light past the dark heartaches and let it shine on the aftermath of the storm and let a rainbow appear. More storms, more light and more rainbows. Much love to you all, looking forward to us meeting again and sharing the love.
Peggy Perry-Hill has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. She spent many years as a public school teacher. Her goal was always to be a full time writer. She has spent the last 25 years traveling the globe with her husband John Two-Hawks, presenting concerts workshops and retreats. Her mantra has been 'making music and making friends'. Peggy has also written several books with her latest being 'Give Peas a Chance' a nostalgic 60s cookbook which she wrote to hold onto some levity in her life during the pandemic. She has facilitated Women of Wisdom (WOW) retreats for over 15 years. Peggy is the owner of Circle Studios Records and CSR Media Publishing Company. Her passion is compassion and she has stood for decades by another mantra, Love is a Verb, so her main goal in writing is to inspire her readers into action. Peggy Perry-Hill is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves writing, music, theater and culinary arts.