TW: death, loss.
Today is the fourth day of the Week of Action, and I want to take note of the electricity in the air today. Today’s theme was green, which stands for nature, and it was both Rebecca Wight’s and Julie Williams’s color day. The past couple of days have been up and down, with soaring heights and crashing lows (triggers aren’t fun), and today was just…incredible. I stepped outside after class today and immediately stepped into the beauty of spring. The weather was beautiful – the sky was a dark navy grey with imminent rain, and the air was awash in the scent and feel of rain. It didn’t rain, not at first, and later alternated between sprinkling and pouring. I felt energized the moment I stepped outside. Electricity buzzing all over me, coursing through my blood. I felt alive, on top of the world. I was reaffirmed in what I do and why. And to think this occurred today, given the theme and whose theme it is. Feeling energized was definitely what I needed this week. Perhaps it was better that the most difficult day occurred early – it allowed me to pull it together and return replenished to finish the Week. I allowed myself a day to cry and grieve for the lives we have lost – now I am ready to move forward and continue to work toward a better future.
There were fifteen individuals memorialized today who I thought best suited the theme of nature. In no particular order, they are: Rebecca Wight, Julie Williams, Lollie Winans, Fred Mangione, Vanderson Viegas Silva, Winfield Mowder, Talana Kreeger, Noxolo Nogwaza, Dominic Crouch, Lawrence Correa Biancao, Gary Matson, Emonie Spaulding, Allen Schindler Jr., Eudy Simelane, and Thapelo Makutle.
When the world lost Rebecca Wight, we lost her warmth, her vibrancy, her love of life, and the lessons she would have impacted on the next generations.
When the world lost Julie Williams, we lost the kind of activist we need in the world. We lost someone who knew what was important in life and did what was right just because it was right, a woman who was dedicated to helping the people society didn’t want to help.
When the world lost Lollie Winans, we lost her strength and outgoing energy. We lost a woman who was committed to rise above her difficult past and create a future for herself.
When the world lost Fred Mangione, we lost his vibrant, radiant personality and the presence he established whenever he entered the room.
When the world lost Vanderson Viegas Silva, we lost another beautiful soul with limitless potential who I wish I knew more about.
When the world lost Talana Kreeger, we lost a woman who always made the best of life, despite not having the easiest of lives.
When the world lost Noxolo Nogwaza, we lost a woman who clearly touched a great number of lives, with over 2000 people attending her funeral and over 170,000 signing a petition to crack down on corrective rape in response.
When the world lost Dominic Crouch, we lost his thoughtfulness and his deep empathy for the suffering of others.
When the world lost Lawrence Correa Biancao, we lost the potential and possibilities his life had in store. We lost his future.
When the world lost Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, we lost two men of many talents whose love for each other and others and respect for the natural world is evident in the lives they led.
When the world lost Emonie Spaulding, we lost a life that I am not sure how she would have lived, but I am certain it would have fit who she was at heart.
When the world lost Allen Schindler Jr., we lost his inspiring compassion for animals, and his care for all living beings.
When the world lost Eudy Simelane, we lost a voracious campaigner of equal rights who had the courage to come out at twelve and become one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in KwaThema.
When the world lost Thapelo Makutle, we lost an outgoing and talented young person for whom the world is a little darker in his absence.