Kristin Kirkpatrick: October message

Together We Grow members,

The fire to the west of my home in Fort Collins continues to ravage the mountainous playground that we all love, the places where we connect with something bigger than ourselves, where we find peace and respite. The winds come and go, occasionally filling the air in our city with smoke, a dusting of ashes coating the last holdouts in my garden and the places where my children play.

We are safe, where we live, the impact to our lives only ancillary. We offer to take in a pet, drop off a meal, send love and thoughts and prayers to those being evacuated. My colleagues reshuffle workloads, take in cattle and horses. We extend grace to deadlines and to-do lists. We offer our thanks to those on the front lines, putting their lives at risk to battle an ever-growing blaze.

But isn’t this what we have all been doing in some way, shape, or form these past seven months? In our workplaces and communities. In our homes and schools. We have been assessing how we show up. How we lighten the load. How we recognize the burdens that we are carrying in disproportionate ways. How we hold the line and do our part to keep the things that threaten us — fires, hurricanes, infectious disease, racism — from destroying us, from taking yet another life. We have been taking a long hard look at the damage and asking how we rebuild from here. We have been rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. Seeking to not only forge ahead, but to do so in a way that makes us all stronger. Better. Connected. Seen. Valued.

This work is hard. It is humbling. It is messy. It is exhausting.

But there you are. You. I see you. You have been showing up. Going above and beyond. Innovating and trying new things. Stretching yourself and your organizations to new heights. You’ve been having the hard conversations, sitting in the discomfort. You are on the front lines leading our transformation. Right now it feels as if we are all in the middle of the fire — the heat is on, and it is intense. But we are sowing seeds in the midst of the ashes. Those seeds will open and take root, not in spite of, but in direct response to the heat of the threats that we face. I thank you for your commitment and fortitude. We are unfurling like the pinecone in a fire, planting the seeds for the forest of tomorrow, and I continue to feel so honored to be doing this work alongside you.
Be well,

Kristin

 

This message was included in Together We Grow’s October newsletter. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter.