It truly does take a village to raise a child!
At these times when you start seeing the finish line, seeing some light at the end of a tunnel, you start to look within at what motivates you. In this unlikely campaign for Governor, a campaign I’ve had to juggle with family, urges to go fishing, and a full-time job for more than a year-and-a-half now….I can see that light at the end of the tunnel coming fast. At the beginning of a race, you have all these visions and lofty goals. I’ve been inspired from gaining an understanding of the land and how a river funtions. I’ve come to know what lives in those rivers, and the people who enjoy those rivers and other resources in so many ways. Your goal is to use that knowledge for the greater good of both the land and people. Then you start seeing the obstacles and misinformed human process, that prevents many people and ideas from ever being heard. How do you stay motivated?
I think part of my motivation comes from the family I was raised in and the tough neighborhood I grew up in. I had 5 siblings and our mom passed away when I was in first grade. Needless to say, at our house there was a lot of competition at the dinner table alone! Living out in the country, we had to figure out alternate strategies for all kinds of things. We also had some awesome neighbors along the way!
I often think about the value a mother and an intact family has for getting a person off on the right foot. For me, the loss of our mom was replaced with lessons from “the village”….brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, neighbors, friends, and those unpampered lessons of life. It’s that village of support we need to bring back and strengthen our families, communities, neighborhoods, and cities in Iowa. It’s by far a more important support system than any government program, and it’s that village we need to invest our efforts in as state.
I’m reminded of the importance of that village social structure support every time I watch our flock of chickens. It’s facinating to watch all the little things and interactions that go on within the flock from the moment they hatch. From the function and develpment of a “pecking order” to watching a group of young chickens having to rely on instinct because they never get those lessons from a hen.
As the voting clock ticks down, I’ll stay strong with the memory and lessons of that village that still surrounds me today in the form of my family, my friends, my neighbors, my co-worker, my campaign supporters, my dogs, the hills and rivers around me, and of course my chickens!
Because after all, it not only takes a village to raise a child, it takes that same village and a dose of nature to keep our communities happy and strong.