I ended 2019 with a (slightly uncharacteristic) post with a positive tone–a simple poem titled blessings. Then I took a week off and tried not to get mired down in current events and enjoyed the return of my children to the nest for a couple weeks.

Meanwhile…Monday morning I ready this headline in the New York Times: “Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves?” The teenage suicide rate jumped 56% between 2007 and 2017 and is now the second leading cause of death among young people. I don’t expect it has declined in the last two years. The rate of teen depression increased 63% during that same time. We have a serious problem here. You don’t have to spend much time in a school to feel the anxiety that is an all-too-constant state among our children. I fear we are in danger of losing a generation.

Meanwhile…Australia is on fire. Walking the dog yesterday at sunset, I noticed the orange of the sunset (in the east). Hmmm. I can’t believe that it is smoke from Australia, as I would think it would take much longer for smoke to cross from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere, but I’m unaware of other sources of atmospheric particulate pollution that could be causing the sky to appear orange in all directions at sunset (and then again sunrise this morning). Maybe I should quit walking the dog.

Meanwhile…Beltrami county commissioners voted 3-2 to not allow refugee resettlement in the county under an executive order from President Trump that places the decision in the hands of local governments. Do I need to point out that Beltrami county has a significant indigenous Anishinaabe population and that it’s safe to say that the county commissioners and all those in attendance cheering the vote are most likely descendants of immigrants that took the land from the Anishinaabe.

Meanwhile…we are marching towards war with Iran one tweet at a time. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is the world we have made for ourselves. Are we satisfied with this path we are walking? I’m not. I think we can enact a different story for ourselves.

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