Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Season of Growth

Spring brings forth buds; the rebirth of mother earth lifts our spirits. Summer celebrates the sun showing off the full flowering of beautiful blossoms. But growth, real natural growth happens now, under gray skies, bare trees, brown grasses and shriveled shrubbery.

It is happening hidden from view, under the earth. In the fall, sap retreats from the branches. It heads down deep into the earth to the roots and goes to work growing the tree. Right now, fed by the sap, the roots are pushing outward and downward creating a more firm foundation for the tree. Without this process, the tree would be uprooted in the spring with top heavy growth.

I have used this metaphor before to describe the ebb and flow that organizations go through and personal growth as one grows older. It is apt in so many instances. Most recently, I have been thinking of the issue of winter and the Occupy Movement.

The bureaucrats and police may be doing us a favor by breaking up camps, denying permits, and forcing the movement to “winter” our discontent. We should not squander the opportunity.

At Occupy Springfield, we are offering teach-ins. They are not for us alone but are open to the community. So far we have had teach-ins on conviction of the innocent, how the legal system perpetuates one class’s domination over others. Future teach-ins include topics that include revolution and insurrection, conflict resolution, radical therapy, revolt and occupy, women and genders studies, Israel-Palestine conflict, Illinois election process and law, and more.

Photo by Jacob McCulley
We have moved outside the confines of our small encampment. We discovered “freedom chalk”; an outrageously fun water soluble sidewalk chalk; and we learned how to make it rather than buy it. It is the medium and public space sidewalks our free speech canvas to carry the message of the 99%.

Our movement is connecting with activists and activist organizations. We are homeschooling ourselves about to get an ID card if you are homeless (a topic for another blog later), researching city ordinances, finding free, accessible and occupy-friendly businesses to meet inside. We are “occupying” our city council meetings and OUR house, the Illinois State Capitol in incredibly creative ways. 

Photo by J.J. Keating 

We have even occupied the back of a couple of squad cars, and lived to write about it. The outrage solidified our commitment to one another and the 99%.

The Occupy Library is growing and people are using it for their personal growth and education. Knowledge is power, and; we are becoming very powerful. Our root system is moving the earth under our feet to create a firmer foundation. It is impressive growth for a three month old movement. We are saplings on steroids!

And, winter has yet to officially arrive!


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