I changed our bed the other day and oh, how good it felt to crawl
into bed that night. Fresh smelling sheets, cozy blanket and comfortable, familiar pillow. I read in bed for a bit, as I always do, and when I turned out the light, I felt safe and content. Although I was tired, the day had been a good one. I knew I would wake refreshed and eager for another good day.
Most of the time I take these gifts for granted.
Many in this world do not experience the simple gifts of a comfortable and safe place to sleep. Nor do they wake to a day of ease and freedom.
We know this, of course, but we need reminders.
Yesterday Bruce and I went to an exhibit at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. http://www.asimn.org to see an exhibit called "Where the Children Sleep" by Swedish photojournalist Magnus Wennman. Wennman poignantly, sensitively has photographed Syrian refugee children.
A boy without a bed.
A girl afraid to close her eyes.
A child who dreams of when bedtime didn't bring terror.
I was glad I had a handkerchief handy.
The gallery was hushed in honor of these children and their families, except for a trio of elderly white women who chatted, one even answering her phone. I overheard one of them say, "Well, at least we live in the good, old US of A." I guess these photographs didn't have much to say to her.
We are facing an immigration crisis in this country in which many no longer feel safe, many will not be able to sleep securely, many will wonder what the night or the next morning will mean for them.
Along with these stunning photographs of children, who deserve at the very least a roof over their heads, the words introducing the exhibit clearly and concisely explained the big picture of immigration.
There are many reason to migrate. Some are pulled
by the use of a more secure future. Some pushed by
the atrocities of war. Whatever the reason, the story
of migration cuts through time and has affected
populations across the globe.
This exhibit is a "haunting reminder of the millions of children with uncertain future."
I not only urge you to see this exhibit if you live in the area--quickly, for it ends March 6-- but also to open your heart to those all around you who deserve to sleep well. I would love to know your response.
Note: How ironic is this? Soon after going to the exhibit I received an email telling me that a piece I wrote called "The Magic of Reading in Bed" was accepted for the blog GraceNotes. You can read it here.