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Maybe that seems insignificant.

89 years ago, my mother was six years old. My father had just barely turned four when the world lost a hero.

Harriet Tubman. On March 10, 1931 she died at around 91. My dad is now 93. I am 60. My mother is 94.

They are just numbers, but they give me perspective.

My parents grew up in the shadow and shame of the Civil War. I was in 4th grade when schools in Alabama were desegregated. My friend, Valrie, and I sat next to each other for the first time in school. I think both of us were scared, but not of each other.

My children have grown up in Washington State. They don’t understand the shadow of slavery. I’m so very glad.

I have nothing wise to say here. I’m just glad Harriet Tubman was born.

But slavery continues. It’s called trafficking.

If ever there was a time to step out of the shadows and work together, I think it’s now. Who am I to say this? Nobody. What are my credentials? I have no prior experience. What makes me qualified? I’m alive.

I think I’m realizing that the only requirement to begin caring and to speak up is to be breathing.

Am I scared? Well, of course I am.

I was scared to go to first grade. I was scared when schools desegregated. I was scared to go into missions. I was scared to finish college. I was scared to paint and get paid for it. I was scared to dive off the high dive. I was scared I wouldn’t live to raise my children and I was scared to get delivered from perfectionism.

I was scared to be weak when I already was.

But somebody has to go and no one is lining up to take my place. So I guess being scared doesn’t let me off the hook or disqualify me.

I have no desire to be Harriet Tubman. God.

That’s not said as a cuss word. It’s just the only word that describes what I feel after watching the movie “Harriet” sitting above the clouds in a plane heading back to Seattle on March 9, 2020.

I am drawn like a moth to brave people. Lord help me. I’m about to “jump.”

And I hear the Lord ask, “What’s in your hand, Moses.” And I answer, “A paint brush.”

I don’t paint to create art.

I create art to tell a story. And my stories are about freedom.

What’s in your hand?

©2020 Lydia D Crouch

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