November 17, 2011 marks a Day of Action for the Occupy Movement and I am here to say that today I stand in solidarity, proudly occupying our door yard, all 43,560 square feet of it.
The rise of the Occupy Movement has been nothing less than thrilling. Twinkle fingers all around — these are my people! And their passionate call for all Americans to leave their homes today and occupy the “edifices of power” makes my pulse beat more rapidly. I want to be in NYC, I want to be a voice uplifted in song, dancing my way by candlelight to reclaim the Brooklyn Bridge.
But as a 21st Century homemaker, living a scant centimeter above the poverty line with a two-year old at home and a seven-year old enrolled in public school, I am here today in North Carolina, working my ass off on this acre.
So instead of my physical presence on the line today, I humbly offer to the Occupy Movement my voice and a gentle reminder: that the home is an edifice of power no less important to occupy than our public lands.
Yes, the system is corrupt. I’ve sensed this since I was a little girl. But today on my land, it’s my system that’s in place.
It is here amidst these 43,560 square feet that I daily exercise my liberties. It is here that I do my magic. It is here that I grow food for my family and cook from scratch. It is here that I tend a bee hive. It is here that I use a clothes line instead of a dryer. It is here that I chop wood instead of turn on my electric heater. It is here that I choose to use cash over credit. It is here that I read and write and dance and sing. It is here that I sit with my children at our kitchen table and talk about what it means to be your own authority.
Today on my land I can aspect Mahatma Ghandi and “be the change I want to see in the world.” Now, here, in this moment. There is immense value in this.
Today, as my part of the November 17th Day of Action, I challenge the Occupy Movement to do what our current system has failed to do: include every voice.
What say you farmers chained to your crops and livestock? What say you grandparents bound to your nursing homes? What say you minimum-wage nine-to-fivers without the luxury of paid vacation days?
I have faith in consensus process. I have faith in you, my fellow citizens. We can shape a new society together, including voices from the public square and the kitchen table.