Gratitude is the starting point for being able to engage with my despair and pain. These days as I read the news I feel myself overwhelmed with the social unrest, the racism and bigotry, and the enormous climate disruption, as hurricanes and fires run wild. I find myself angry with our leaders, who I assume are as smart as I am but act as though they don’t understand the dire consequences of their actions -- or inactions.
As I face what is happening in our world I understand that this interplay between pain and gratitude are two sides of the whole –the interconnected nature of all life. My pain springs forth from my humanity, my compassion, and, all that is good within me. I can use that goodness and that sense of connection to propel me to do what my heart yearns to do – to create a more sustainable and just world -- one step, one day at a time – in spite of all the craziness around me.
There are moments when I feel blocked and I can’t figure the next steps – those are the moments that I seek inspiration from others – friends, teachers, the Earth itself.
I am more creative when my mind dances and plays with those of my friends, and what emerges is so much greater than I, or they, could generate alone.
What comes to mind is the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Yet, I am the kind of person who likes to go fast, and I have to urge myself to slow down. I am proud when I discover those ways to slow down and connect with our beautiful interconnected web of life – Mother Earth.
In this season I am grateful for my garden. I have this huge raspberry patch, planted by the previous owners of this house. Each day I must pick and some days I am busy or tired – but still I must pick or the berries get too soft, or moldy. So, I have a practice of thanking the plants as I pick. I express thanks for the delicious berries, for the berry crisps that I make, for the growing bags of frozen berries in my freezer for the winter. As I talk to my plants the picking is so much more fun!
If you are still reading this blog – THANK YOU! Thank you for hanging in with me, for encouraging me to do this work. Hopefully it will serve us all. I know that gratitude is a gift that I give myself – and hopefully a gift that you give yourself as well.