The Hope of Spring

Winter has been hanging on here in Michigan, even though we are already into the first few weeks of spring. Cold temperatures and even some April snow showers have cast a shadow on our optimism and hope. Do we really believe this season will spring forth with new life? Will the ice finally melt and the water flow freely? Will we walk outside again in short sleeves and feel warm?

At the same time, the “winter” of racism, violence, xenophobia, sexism, and hatred continues to persist in our national psyche. These various forms of fear are conditioned into our very beings as Americans, and are currently being reinforced by our president and other elected leaders. It takes true courage and creativity to help awaken the light of healing justice in such a climate and to act from a place of love for all humanity.

We all want to be free. We long for love, connection, safety, security, and community. We are in need of balance in our relationships with ourselves, with others, and with our Mother Earth. How do we live our lives during these cold wintery days with the warm hope of spring in our hearts?

I have been inspired by the courageous students who led the nation and the world in the March For Our Lives, inviting us to transform our culture of gun violence into a more sane and safe reality. I am encouraged by the Poor Peoples’ Campaign, a national call for moral revival and a continuation of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent struggle for justice. I am enlivened by the many young people with whom I have the privilege to sing, letting the music reach our hearts in a way that casts aside fear and discrimination.

I am grateful for many opportunities to sing for all people, for healing justice, and for our Mother Earth. I am excited to offer a special weeklong mindfulness and songwriting camp for kids this summer at Oz’s Music in Ann Arbor. Most of all, I am humbled, grateful, and so happy to marry Allison this summer. With the support of our family, friends, and communities, we can allow our love to help us grow, to overcome fear, and to more fully embrace hope.

I invite you to cultivate and share the hope that is in your heart, for brighter and warmer days, for more just and inclusive communities, and for safe places for all children to sing, play, and grow.

Yours in the music,

Joe

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