The fireflies hatched last night.
Thousands of these tiny creatures celebrated their births – and sought to continue their species – with delightful displays of frantically blinking lights and jerky impertinent flights-of-fancy. They fluttered above every wet spot of ground, sought out every puddle no matter how small, and danced joyfully along the edges of the tiny rivulets and streams which run throughout this little liberated corner of the Mexican southeast.
These clouds of minuscule sparkling lights reminded me of the thousands of Zapatistas now impertinently bringing their individual brilliances to planning another year of resistances and rebellions. Fanciful – even impossible – discussions are proceeding in each of the five autonomous centers, caracoles, and especially in the flowing streams of autonomous communities which glide across the hills and jungles of Chiapas, Mexico. Powerful, autonomous actors who rededicate their lives every day to surviving and igniting flames of dignity, democracy, and justice for us all are at the core of thus planning.
From experience, I know that these flights of Mayan fancy will gradually be born into reality during the course of 2015.
Occasionally, we at Schools for Chiapas manage to catch a little of that Zapatista’s inspiration and find little ways to reflect their sparks of hope and insight. When that happens we can really make a difference; helping build or supplying an autonomous school, occasionally planting a few trees, healing a beehive, or organizing a workshop. Our little online store brings beauty created by Zapatista women into homes around the world and often the Zapatistas themselves welcome a visiting Schools for Chiapas delegation into their hearts and lives to live and learn inside Zapatista territory.
Within the next few weeks we at Schools for Chiapas will also birth plans and dreams for this New Year reflective of what we learn during discussions in the caracoles.
Yesterday’s clouds of blinking fireflies also reminded me of our virtual network of friends and supporters whose ever-flashing consciousness’s brighten and direct the work of Schools for Chiapas with your ideas and creativity. Many have already renewed monthly pledges and other gave “Gifts of Change” during the holiday season to support specific efforts here in the misty mountains and steamy jungles; others are already planning classroom lessons, community presentations, and catchy tunes to link the struggles of Chiapas with those in your own backyards. During the first month of 2015s we visit caracoles and learn of this year’s goals, you are all with us along every bumpy road and every slick muddy path we climb. Thank you to every one of you for all you do to birth a new and better world.
Finally, I want to share two joyful realities which also leaped into my mind when I first saw those clouds of fireflies I mentioned earlier. One of these little lights is named Kai Maatiaak Barraza Macgurn and the other is named Luther Thomas Skjeime. Born on different continents to four of the long-term coordinators of Schools for Chiapas, these two tiny but powerful lights of joy and hope have helped define this season and rededicate our efforts.
Congratulations to Adriana, Rich, Kai, Sim, Jim, and Luther – I’m sure that you all will continue to let your lights shine as we search our hearts and minds and communities for inspiration and direction. Thank you for being who you are.