A Manifesto of Tiny Commitments, Degna Stone
by Degna Stone
I will wake every day to early morning light,
make time for the things that bring me joy,
walking next to rivers, listening to The Beatles,
writing shopping lists in shimmering inks.
I will walk the length of the estate
from the saltmarsh gardens to the café,
watch the months pass and the seasons change,
winter to spring, midsummer to fall.
I’ll offer a smile to everyone that passes by,
expecting nothing in return. It’s not about that.
I will dance, or sing, or scream when it feels
necessary. Learn the names of weeds
and wildflowers. Learn the calls of wading birds.
I will stop saluting magpies as if my fate
depends on it. Trust science over superstition,
embrace moderation, in everything except a belief
in radical kindness. I will believe in that
as though my life depends on it.
I will mend and repair and reuse what I can,
take fewer journeys by car when I can.
I will not stand by and watch others suffer.
I will not live in hope without a plan.
I will become an ‘anti’, and prefix
myself to the world’s isms and phobias
and when I need to be strong, I’ll draw strength
from Dunston Staiths, ancient and monumental,
despite the north wind, despite the lapping
of the Tyne at high tide, despite arsonists’ fires,
it provides sanctuary, provides shelter.