longing for winter

winter lake scene | photo by Phoebe Stout
woodland door | photo by Phoebe Stout
black bear tracks | photo by Phoebe Stout
Alice in the trees | photo by Phoebe Stout
two paths | photo by Phoebe Stout
tiny details | photo by Phoebe Stout
boardwalk in winter | photo by Phoebe Stout

I've always loved stories set in cold, snowy places. The more remote and isolated the better. There's a quiet in the bleakness of winter that's unlike any other setting or season, and just under the surface of that stillness is a beautiful mystery.  

For many years, I wasn't able to fully appreciate that stillness because I was living in the city. Even during the severest of snowstorms, and even when the city "shuts down", there's still movement and noise – it's less, but it's there. Living in a rural Pennsylvania has allowed me to experience the much desired feeling I had only known vicariously through books or film.

When I take walks with Alice now, and the only sound is our breath and the crunch under our feet, I feel like I'm finally getting to know the winter that I had always longed for.

they did not know we were seeds

My mom, two sisters, cousin and I were five in a crowd of over 500,000 women, men, and children at the Women's March on Washington. It was an emotional and historic day. Prior to the 2016 campaign of Hillary Clinton, I'd never been that involved in politics. I'd never attended a rally or protest. Never called my senator. I didn't even really watch the news all that much. All that has changed – I’ve found my voice that I’m proud to use it. The recent election and the current administration is not really about politics anymore, it is deeply personal. This is about who we are at our core. And thanks to the thousands of people who marched on January 21st – we showed the world who we are.  We are resilient, we are fighters of injustice and hate and racism, we are accountability keepers for those in government, we are allies to those who need support, and powerful opposition to those who try and silence us. We are seeds.

The day of the march was long and when it came time to head back to our hotel, even though our feet were sore, we weren't quite ready to close our eyes. The natural high was too great a feeling to part with. We stopped in a bar to have a drink and talk about this movement we were now a part of. My sister was on her phone showing us photos and reading social media posts that people from all over the world had shared that day. She came across a tweet that quoted a Mexican proverb, "They tried to bury us; they did not know we were seeds." There was a collective exhalation as she read it. It summed up what we had experienced so perfectly.

I think about it each time I see people rise up and push back against attempted oppression. When I turn on the news and there's a little girl on her dad's shoulders at the international arrivals terminal holding a sign that reads 'You Are Welcome Here'. When I hear about the leaders of a Jewish congregation in a small town in Texas who gave the keys to their synagogue to the community of Muslims who lost their mosque in a fire. When I read that 40% of Democratic women plan to get more involved in political causes in 2017. When I see post after post on social media about the daily resistance actions of friends, and strangers alike. Each time I click the 'Follow' button on a rogue national wildlife account, or drop a postcard to my Senator in the mailbox (to either plead with or thank them) – I can actually feel the rising happening in real time. The collective resistance that we are engaging in each day in order to reclaim what's been taken from us, and hold the line for what we will not allow them to take. 

I'm proud of every single person who has spoken out in ways big and small. Every word counts. We will not be buried. We will persist and succeed because this democracy is everything to us. 

40% of the proceeds from the sale of my 'We Are Seeds' print will be donated to the Global Fund For Women

The Global Fund for Women is one of the world’s leading foundations for gender equality, standing up for the human rights of women and girls. We campaign for zero violence, economic and political empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Our Vision is that every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard. No exceptions.

courage

Though "we may not live to see the glory," as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, "let us gladly join the fight." Let our legacy be about "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."
That's why we're here...not just in this hall, but on this Earth. The founders showed us that. And so have many others since. They were drawn together by love of country and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow. That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.
Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose. So let's be stronger together, my fellow Americans. Let’s look to the future with courage and confidence. Let’s build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. And when we do, America will be greater than ever.

Hillary Clinton spoke those words when she accepted the nomination as the Democratic party’s nominee for president of the United States on July 28th 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. As I watched her speak, I was overwhelmed by a sense of deep pride, which I had never felt during an election. This was it. A woman, and not just any women – Hillary Clinton, a woman who I respect and admire so very much, was going to be our next president.

The world is watching what we do. Those words, on that night, struck me as the words that I would remember. They meant something about this country that I live in. A country of diversity and inclusion, where freedom is protected, and the chance at a good life is possible. A country that offers aid to those in need, and works tirelessly at strengthening alliances with others to promote peace and well being. Those words were a reminder of just how wonderful this place, that I am lucky enough to call home, truly is. Today, seven weeks later, those words serve as an equally powerful but very different reminder. In a time of growing fear and anger, I look to Hillary’s courage as my north star and see the road ahead as an opportunity to lead by example each day. Actions and thoughts, big and small – the world is watching what we do.

In the days after the election, like so many Americans, I mourned for our country. My heart is broken. I’m still processing what happened and coming to grips with the reality of the results. That doesn’t mean though, that I’m accepting this new administration and its plans to plunge us into division and silence. I will not go back to life as usual, let someone else figure it out, and hope for the best. Each day there are countless ways to learn, take action, and move forward. This nightmare can become a gift, if we rise up – not with violence or hate – but with fiery perseverance and one another.

I’m traveling to DC on January 21st for the Women’s March on Washington. I will join my mom, two sisters, and almost 200,000 others to make our voices heard. I will march for my niece, for women who are victimized and abused, for every person’s right to make decisions about their own bodies, and to carry the torch that Hillary Clinton ignited in me through the streets of Washington DC for all the world to see. This is just one in many, many steps that I’ll take on what looks to be a very long road.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leading figure of the early women's rights movement, once said, “The best protection any woman can have is courage.”

May we each find our courage and learn to wield it as an instrument of change. 

My sister Zoe and me at a Hillary rally in August 2016.

My sister Zoe and me at a Hillary rally in August 2016.

Me and my Mom after casting our votes for Hillary on November 8th 2016.

Me and my Mom after casting our votes for Hillary on November 8th 2016.

~ new Courage tees are in my shop ~

the most wonderful time of the year

holly postcard by Untold Imprint

It's hard to believe that I'm sending out the last Christmas orders today. 

My shop will remain open throughout Christmas & New Year's Eve but I won't be shipping as frequently as my usual schedule. If you place an order, please keep an eye on the shop announcement across the top of my website for holiday shipping timelines.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 


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