Drum beats.

Like one drum beat, crying out into an otherwise silent night, it begins.  One brave and wild drum breaking the silence.

Then another.

Then another.

And, slowly, like Christmas lights on a tree being lit up one by one, more and more drums join in until suddenly the sound gives way to an entire chorus of life, celebrating our joy, celebrating this precious life.

This is how it happens: just like drums calling each other to come play, one story of hope inspires another story of hope.  One story of resilience inspires another story of resilience.  One story of joy reclaimed inspires another story of joy reclaimed until suddenly we find ourselves again as a people, engaged in actively building the world we want to create.  These stories ripple out and have effects that we could never imagine. These are those stories, the stories of myriad ways that people around the planet are working tirelessly for positive social and environmental change.  These are the ways, great and small, that people are creating a better world for those alive now and the generations that lay before us.  These are stories about the ones in the world who are teaching, inspiring, gardening, writing, thinking, protesting, singing and dancing our way to a better world.

These stories remind us that we are not alone.  There are actually more people engaged in positive social and environmental change than ever before.  We believe these stories are just as important, perhaps more important, than what the major news organizations would have you believe is going on.

These are stories of resilience, hope, joy and celebration.  They are stories of how this happens for people on a personal level, their own triumphs, to communities, to globally and ecologically.

These stories are not a blind white washing of the horrors of times; they are not pretending that the world is fine and we can proceed as usual.  In fact, they are the opposite of that.  They are the stories of people and communities who live in very really acknowledgement of the horrors of our time- global warming, wealth inequity, species loss, police brutality- and work to change them.

We don’t need to remind ourselves of the harsh stories of our time: they are readily broadcast on every channel, station and bit of bandwidth available.  We hear them on the bus, in the background TV noise, in passing conversation, we read them on our tiny screens and can’t avoid them on billboards.  Our world constantly reminds of the hundreds of reasons not to have hope.

These stories are our collective sorrow.

But, the same coin that holds our despair and grief for the world also holds our joy and hope for the world.  These stories all come in acknowledgement and response to the massive attritions fraught on and by humanity.   Here, in response and defiance to them, is our joy, resilience and hope.

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