A Semigloss, 8 sided accordion card, 2 sides printed with my original poem, 2 sides sides featuring a wide shot of a honey bee in a sunflower, and 4 unprinted sides for writing on, and accompanied by a free coordinating white envelope.
The flowers featured in this card are sunflowers, from seeds planted by birds that I fed in the winter and spring, and that I grew in pots in my “Garden in the Sky,” on my balcony, in Downtown Montpelier, Vermont, summer of 2021. The following year, 2022, these sunflowers would grow to symbolize the enduring strength of the Ukrainian people, as they continue to fight for their land and sovereignty against Russia. I wrote this poem, inspired both by the Ukrainian people, and by my very favorite piece of music, which symbolizes finding joy evening in the darkest of times, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” which is the song of Europe, and was performed for and by the people of Ukraine at the beginning of this horrific struggle that never should have been.
$1 from every sale of this card will be donated to World Central Kitchen for the Ukrainian People. The poem featured on this card is printed below.
Ode To Joy and Freedom for Ukraine
Written by Ashley Anne Strobridge
You will survive,
and thrive like the honey bee survives winter to thrive in Spring and summer,
Buzzing among the golden petals of your native sunflowers,
You cultivated so diligently.
The sunflower nectar you have harvested these past years will be your strength,
Bringing you Righteous Joy and Freedom everlasting.
We are by your side, the world is watching,
Seeing the injustice you endure, we are on your side,
And those of us who can, will fight for you, for we are fighting for us all,
Together we will sting like bees at the greedy hand that comes to steal the fruits of your labor,
Fighting the northern storms that reign down on you like fire.
We know you must not fall, and we are behind you,
Like the booming drums of Beethoven’s masterpiece, we drum for you,
And our voices will rise together in a chorus of nations,
Celebrating Truth and Justice! And we will celebrate the Joys of Triumph together!
A tingle of righteous and joyful life races up our spine, and our voices rise again in the cry of FREUNDE!
You are our FREUNDE and we will support you! In Joy and Grief,
And we know you will meet Joy again,
in your Place of Paradise which you have cultivated: Elysium! Ukraine LIVES!
We will defend you, our Freunde!
You have strength in your friends and strength in your sting,
You WILL survive,
To sow your sunflowers, and harvest your nectar to thrive in the sunny petals once again.
This is our Ode to you, Ukraine! Our Freunde! Our Ode to you for Joy and Freedom!
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