At the height of Black Lives Matter, a pandemic and growing concern for climate change. At a time when truth and compassion were hard to come by I began contemplating the road to repair. I thought about MLKs dream and confidence that the arc of the moral universe bent toward justice. And I imagined people coming together to honor a promise that was long overdue. Reparations.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s hard to believe. It was hard to imagine it at that time too as I sat in a dog park with my partner Connor and our friend Whitney discussing a “just in case” escape plan from the United States amidst frightening coverage of white terrorism each day.
But today, the road to repair feels oddly familiar as if it had been here all along. For me, it’s simply become a place for community to shop and attend events. And the more you explore that place, you start to find rewards like commission for referring shoppers and flowers, each worth a dollar, for shopping discounts. And then you discover all that shopping is rewarding community too through reparations. That proceeds from shopping are being added to a collective gift basket where community members are offering acknowledgment and redress to ancestors and descendants of stolen land and bodies.
And it’s so beautiful, the truth of it all, that you begin to get emotional as you receive the call to offer something too. And I haven’t even mentioned the best part. The stories descendants share about their experience receiving acknowledgment and redress from people all over the world. And how that experience starts to transform into closure for themselves and their ancestors in a long chain of truth and compassion.
That day in the park I thought to myself, if there’s anything that can bring us together again wouldn’t it be collective reparations? So I began discussing and discerning that fuzzy dream with friends and family and ancestors too. I began looking back to learn from the past with help from a mythical bird named Sankofa. I received its messages and guidance as I built this place for its magical nestlings of a bright and liberated future.
We might think this is a unique moment for which we have to devise a solution that enables that line to continue. If time is a circle, as the Indigenous worldview presumes, the knowledge we need is already within the circle; we just have to remember it to find it again and let it teach us. That’s where the storytellers come in.Robin Wall Kimmerer