By: Meagan Holt
The Gathering of “The Tribe”;
On a sunny Seattle Saturday, in the middle of Westlake Park, a group of fifty or so people greeting each other with hugs and I miss you, the smell of essential oils and marijuana in the air. Business men and women, mothers, fathers, farmers, producers, bud tenders, patients who can’t see, patients who can’t walk. Patients who are old, patients who are young. The voices of the soldiers, leaders, change makers, echoing between the sky scrapers. The pleas of victims of the war drugs. Asking for others around us to stand up. To help drive the continuation of true legalization. To inspire every day citizens to use their own personal power. To show them that we can continue to make a difference if we remove selfishness. If we take greed and profit out of the equation. If we return to our roots. If we remember why cannabis legalization is so important. If we remind ourselves of the silent victims. The patients too sick to leave the house. The grandfather in Texas with Parkinson’s who can’t walk his daughter down the aisle because the shaking and pain is just too much, and cannabis isn’t legal in his state. The father in California who stares at his son through a smoggy plastic screen. Hearing his son’s ventilator hiss through the phone on the wall as he smiles and laughs. The laugh that is only happening because daddy decided to grow medicine for his boy. The mother giving her toddler CPR for the 100th time and knowing if she lived 200 miles south her daughter could be seizure free. The baby born too soon, too sick, and too far away to access cannabis. These are the faces I see when I think about the war on the drugs. The everyday people we don’t stop and think about. The people on this beautiful Saturday we are all here for.
As we gather together, I look around at all the faces. The people who when I lost everything, my friends, my family, my source of income, were there. The people who in the darkest time in my life reached out and re-instilled my hope. When your child is on their death bed and your world begins to slow down and time seems irrelevant because you know no matter how much you are given it will never be enough, it is as though the rest of the world is not only continuing but moving at a pace you just quite can’t keep up with. No matter how much make-up you put on or how many showers you take, that sense of normalcy and the everyday hustle seems so distant. So unattainable. Preparing for the end of a baby’s life is similar to preparing for the beginning of a baby’s life. No advice. No book. No amount of time will prepare for that moment and if you want to know who’s really there for you, either of these moments will bring clarity because reality is just too hard for some. My reality is too hard for most and let’s be honest, on some days, even I wonder how I am doing all of this. How despite losing everything and becoming a soldier in a war I never had any intention of fighting in, her I am. Still standing. Surrounded by people who really do care because now my everyday isn’t so ordinary and I love that.