Rest is Radical

by shay bell 

This holiday season, I will rest. It’s been a long, ROUGH year, and I don’t know about you all, but I BARELY made it out by the skin of my teeth. With everything happening in our Commonwealth, and in the WORLD, it’s hard to close my eyes at night and feel safe. With gun violence at an all-time high, every little sound in the middle of the night has me worried for my community. The sirens outside my window remind me of the police violence that runs unchecked through our neighborhoods. The foggy mornings symbolize betrayal by our governor in his efforts to remove our state from RGGI, compromising our access to clean air and water. And every day, my heart goes out to our trans youth, who are struggling to be accepted and treated humanely in schools. 

And these are only things affecting Virginia. This isn’t even touching the various atrocities happening in the Congo, Gaza, and Sudan. It’s overwhelming. It’s heartbreaking. And I’m tired. 

So I will rest this holiday season because rest is radical and necessary for everyone fighting the good fight. Rest is needed so that this upcoming session I’ll be ready once again to use my voice and fight back against Youngkin’s attacks on our access to clean air and water. I’ll rest now so that I’ll be ready to scream from the rooftops the importance of common sense gun laws. I will rest now so that come mid-January I’ll be prepared to walk into the General Assembly building and advocate on behalf of trans youth, demanding more protections for our children. And I will rest today so that you feel every word I utter when I call for the accountability of ALL police and their participation and complicity in horrific racist police violence across our Commonwealth. 

I rest today so that tomorrow, I am present and empowered to do this work once again. Rest is radical. Take your rest. 

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