Trump tweets “liberate” about Michigan and two other states with Democratic governors
[Minnesota and Virginia] seemingly offering support to protesters…who are opposed to
states’ restrictions and closures.  ~ NPR, April 21, 2020

You – staying home – are doing some of the most critical work of all. I know it doesn’t feel that
way for many of you. Minnesotans are hardworking people who step in to help….plowing out
your neighborhood, filling sandbags, or trudging through the snow to check on your loved ones.
Now that means staying home. What you are doing isn’t paralysis. It’s action….You are making
a difference. You are saving lives.  ~ Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, April 6, 2020

At least on earth,
No light without shadow, no
Shadow without light.

I wrote this haiku a few years ago. And, today, I’m struck by how much I am experiencing this very phenomenon in my life and in the world at this time. It appears that the darker the shadow, the brighter the light! And, conversely, the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. This contrast is both polarity and a complement. They in-form each other.

Last Thursday I watched Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz, and his team give a press briefing. They did a great job. I’m impressed and grateful. And, they are not alone. Many of our governors and their teams are ‘showing up’ in ways many of us may not have seen (or noticed) before. They are leading well and in many ways – from cheerleading us to stay home to offering encouraging words when we do stay home to developing solid plans for gradually lifting the stay-at-home orders. It also appears that they are not easily distracted by the shenanigans of Trump and his followers. Bravo!

Following the briefing, I was moved to write a note of gratitude:

Dear Governor Walz –

I watched your press conference on 4/30/20. I seldom write emails of this sort but I’m doing so  now because I want to express my profound gratitude to you! You have done and continue to do a wonderful job of leading and communicating. Please do continue to say to what you know to be true. You are providing us with a living example of powerful leadership: holding the line, authentic, honest, and caring. I so appreciate how you are willing to state when you don’t know or cannot clarify because of the constantly evolving situation. Did you ever even remotely imagine that your role as governor would include something like this? I would guess not. Yet, from my pov, you and your extensive team have TOTALLY stepped up to it. I’m on your team and I’m so glad you are on mine.

Barbara Shipka


Photo and haiku by Barbara
Theo Wirth Forest
Minneapolis, MN