Spring Break

Picture of tree in full bloom with white and pink flowers on a street with sunlight off the tree. Photo credit Erin Okuno

It is spring break for me, so tonight’s post is going to be short. Before I start it is Arab American Heritage Month, an important time to honor and recognize our Arab American relations and to work to make their work and culture visible.

Since it is spring break, here is my to-do list – maybe it will inspire you too. Punchline — this list is not like the wild spring breaks of reality TV, much duller and simpler.

Read some of the books in my growing pile – My attention span for reading is a bit short these days, so one goal is to read a paper book. I have been enjoying audiobooks as I walk my dog. My pile of books is exclusively POC or about disabilities, so it is even more urgent to get back into them. If you need some book suggestions for your own reading stack check out last week’s post or previous Fakequity book posts.

I recently learned April is National Poetry Month. Spring is a great time to pick up a book of poetry by POC authors. I just found Nikki Grimes One Last Word book at the library. Like its companion book Legacy, it is written in Golden Shovel methodology which makes it very intriguing.

Walk outside and enjoy the changing scene. I grew up in Hawai’i where the season changes are a bit muted, but still lovely year-round. Now that I’m in Seattle it is very neat to see how the cherry blossom trees are coming back, flowers popping up, and the sun is staying out a little later.

Learn about native plants and pollinators – I read up on milkweed plants and butterflies and found the topic fascinating. If you’re in an area where you can grow native milkweed plants, it might be fun to plant some to see if you can support monarch butterfly migration. I’m still figuring out which milkweed plants are native to my area before ordering.

Take in a cultural festival – On Sunday I’m planning on visiting a Cherry Blossom festival to watch a taiko performance. And the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition also just started. Merrie Monarch is a huge deal in Hawai’i. It is the place where the best hula halaus perform and compete. More importantly, it helps to keep hula and Native Hawaiian culture and language alive.

Cook veggies – Last week I went to the Asian grocery store in my neighborhood and bought some veggies, they have been languishing in the fridge. Tonight, I pulled them out and made an impromptu stir-fry with some Korean condiments to use those down too. The no-recipe dish came out pretty good and I’m giving myself a high five for a vegan dinner and using what I had on hand. I’ve been reading more about indigenous foods, climate change, and environmentalism — which indirectly influenced tonight’s dinner.

Watch Beef on Netflix. I haven’t started it yet – I need to finish my current show first.

Civic learning. Today I took one of my kids to the state capitol since I had to run a work errand in that area. He asked a lot of good questions. We learned more about representative democracy together, including who is not represented well in civic life because of access, privileges, and purposeful exclusions. There is also a special election where I live — earlier in the week I voted and walked my ballot to the ballot box. I am grateful Washington State is a vote-by-mail state and my ability to vote is intact. I wish I could take this for granted, but over the past few years I see how fragile voting rights have become.

Play a few board games – Ok this one has very little value to racial equity since most of the games we currently have and play are based on capitalism and resource hoarding. But I like games and it stretches critical thinking skills. It also opens space for learning life skills and having fun. Earlier this week my youngest bankrupted me in Monopoly by building a hotel on Boardwalk, which I landed on TWICE – game over.

 I hope your spring break list includes a mix of learning, fun, and enjoying the seasonal shifts.

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I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawai’i; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.