Hope in Troubled Times–The Power of Community & Symbols

by Rikki Quintana September 30, 2020

Hope in Troubled Times–The Power of Community & Symbols

I took the photo you see above during my morning walk today. What captured my interest was the little patch of leaves that were starting to turn red. Living in the high desert of New Mexico, we don't see a lot of trees turning red--it's usually only yellow and occasionally orange. So when I see leaves turning red, it's like a small touch of magic.

But what really inspired me this morning was the sudden thought that the leaves beginning to change color was a symbol that life does indeed go on, even in these troubled times. And I felt a sudden little burst of hope gently sprinkle over me. That sense of hope is still with me as I write.

So what gives me hope when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel? Most of all, it's the presence of community, even if most of it is through a Zoom screen or text/DM or email these days. The power of community has shown up in a myriad of little ways over the last few days. I guess I have to be hit over the head a lot of times before I "get it".

So here are some of those sparks of community that have touched my life recently and help me transcend the pervasive sense of doom:

  • A "patio dinner" with a dear friend of more than 25 years who I haven't seen since before the pandemic began
  • Attending the NAWBO Virtual Conference and connecting with fellow women business owners, especially those in a breakout room during a webinar on story-telling.
  • Sharing business and life frustrations as well as tiny steps forward with my "accountability partner" in my business coaching group.
  • Daring to commit to an in-person gathering with my business coaching group (outside, with masks and socially-distanced of course)
  • Joining the NEST Artisan Guild and participating in the webinars offered to support artisan businesses around the world in building an online business during Covid-19
  • Having a phone call with the founder of the Buy Good Feel Good online market place, which is dedicated to building an online marketplace for brands that are putting people and planet ahead of profit, building a new economy that is just and fair for all
  • Starting a 3-person book club with my two daughters, so that we can read and discuss Glennon Doyle's book Untamed together
  • Connecting with our artisan partners in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and exploring ways that we can continue to work together even though sales for them and for HoonArts have plummeted during the pandemic
  • Listening to Brene Brown's podcast interview this morning with Bishop Michael Curry on Love & Hope in Troubling Times, and the critical role of community
  • Receiving and sharing the Green Fair Trade Gift Guide below, created by Cael Chappell, founder of fellow Fair Trade Federation ("FTF) member Baskets of Africa, which showcases memorable handmade fashion and home decor from four FTF members–Baskets of Africa, HoonArts, Dunitz & Company and Sevya Handmade

And somehow, seeing the leaves begin to turn this morning, combined with the collaboration behind the Go Green Fair Trade Guide, suddenly came together for me with green as a symbol of hope and community for our world. And we desperately need those symbols today. So green has become my new symbol of light at the end of the tunnel.

 "By the way, most of the light that comes from the sun is green." Bill Nye


All that's left is to enjoy a quick peek at how artisans from Africa, Tajikistan, India and Guatemala have captured the hope of green in their memorable handmade fashion and home decor products. And, of course, you can buy your own symbol of hope in community by visiting the websites of Baskets of Africa, Dunitz & Company, Sevya Handmade, and, of course, HoonArts.


Rikki Quintana
Rikki Quintana


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