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Because despair is not an option, today I bring good news. The good news tells us: “Rise up, children! Rise up and sing! Rise up, children! Invoke Beauty! Invoke Justice! Call up Change!”

We are rising because the earth is in need. We are rising because there are humans in pain. We are rising because the trees shouted back. We are rising because the mountains shall not be moved. We are rising because justice is carried by the wind. We are rising because, though sometimes we may feel beaten and beleaguered, that is what we do: We Rise.

Today, I write in praise of every activist everywhere. I write in praise of those sitting in under the Arizona sun. I write in praise of those carrying food to Palestine. I write in praise of those attempting to clean the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I write in praise of all of you who, daily, commit small acts of bravery and righteousness on behalf of goodness, on behalf of what is right, and on behalf of the working of your soul and will.

Today, I bring to all of us the Good News of Reverend Billy Talen, the Rainforest Action Network, Alliance for Appalachia, and everyone else who worked on behalf of the sacred, ancient, mountain range:

Chase Bank will no longer underwrite Massey Corporation to fund mountaintop removal. This is a major victory for all who have worked to stop this hideous desecration in order to extract a major pollutant. This is a triumph over greed and ignorance. This is a raising up of the possibility of beauty. As Reverend Billy himself says, “Earth-a-lujah!”

The Reverend writes: “This is something to savor. Activists can have the privilege of seeing the world change.” Yes, we can. Never doubt it. Never give up. When you sink back toward despair, children, recall this victory gained by the forces of creativity and love.

If you rise up and sing your song, the mountains will answer.

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