Lullaby

“And sweet dreams will be for a swallow of clean water, a spot of shade, and a breath of ash-free air.” When a grandfather is sent by a pair of parents to quell a restless baby, he bestows upon the pure, beautiful being the hard truth of modern existence…

by: Frederick Foote

“Great God Almighty, girl, you have to hold down that racket.

I understand you want the world to know that you’re my first great-grandbaby, but you have to chill a little.

Your parents sent me in here to quiet you down, sing you a lullaby, and rock you to sleep.

They’re trying to salvage scraps of slumber as best they can before day begins.

But I don’t know any lullabies. Still, I know you’re going to need a powerful voice to survive and steel determination. You can’t let anybody turn you around. And you have to understand how we, the land, sea, air, bugs, bees, weeds, trees, stones, and bones are all connected and depend on each other. 

Child, you will need to be broadcasting broadband worldwide to derail the self-destruction express powered by greed and need and steered by arrogance and indifference.  

Oh, you don’t want to hear that. Your gonna drown me out. Well, I brought my earplugs, good luck trying to overpower these noise cancelers.

Sound off. That’s alright by me. 

Here’s my lullaby anyway.

You’re going to need those powerful lungs to survive the smoke and ash in the air, wildfires burning everywhere. 

Powerful storms will blow your cradle, house, and barn away.

Long and hot droughts won’t let you sleep night or day.

The rising seas will drown your playground and flood your future.

The bees, bugs, and flies will whisper “bye, bye” as they fade away.

The oceans will feed you back the plastics they’ve been burdened by.

As the temperature rises, the weather worsens, starvation and thirst, riots and rebellions will rule desolate lands.

And sweet dreams will be for a swallow of clean water, a spot of shade, and a breath of ash-free air.

Oh, I see that mouthful shut you up. Aw, look at those great big eyes searching for answers. Don’t look at me. I can barely count the issues.

The best I can do is leave messages for you. My first one is that the people who gain profit and power from our self-destructive ways will not solve these problems. No matter what the shot callers says, things will get worse under their watch every day.

These captains of politics and commerce will cling to their power even as the sky rains poison, the oceans become cesspools, and our diseased remains slide into polluted graves.

You face a grave situation. You will need your mother’s wit and considerable determination to create new pathways to survival. And you can’t do it alone, sister.

Don’t depend on Science and Technology to save you. Those are the critters that fed our desire for comfort and convenience without consequences and got us into this mess.

The cost of survival will break every bank, crack every economy, and crash every currency.

I believe that it will take the impossible to save you. Your simple job, little sister, is to make the impossible — possible.

So, the next time you scream, I want the rocks, rivers, trees, bees, bugs, jet streams, tides, single-cell creatures, and breezes to hear you say “Hang on! A new generation of bad-ass game changers is on the way and revolution is in the air everywhere.”

Hallelujah! And now sleep you little devil you. Rest well. Recharge your battery. You’re going to need all the energy and Black girl magic you can get.

I’m betting on you. 

We all are.

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