Musing on a Warm January Day

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Moss and lichen cling summer green to the January lilac

It’s a gray day here in New Hampshire. Raining when it probably should be snowing. The temperature, warm enough to open windows. My phone tells me it’s 59 degrees outside. Soon it will be 60, but tomorrow will bring a nearly 30 degree drop in temperature, and on Tuesday it should be snowing.

Yesterday, when I was out with the dogs and my son in the balmy air, I recalled walking in Boston more than twenty years ago, in January. It was a surreal day. Ninety degrees in the city. In January. A few years prior, there was an April Fool’s snowfall that dumped two feet of snow on my car in Providence. The weather has been extreme for decades now. Yet it still feels strange. Surreal.

I am not comfortable with this new normal. Now, most days, the atmosphere sparks with the unpredictable. Or, rather, what shouldn’t be predicted. It can be incomprehensible how we cling to old ways, even when we should change them.

Last night, my husband and I watched the movie Tolkein, and more than anything else, I was grabbed by the scenes of war. No wonder, I kept thinking, he wrote what he did. I was filled with frustration as I watched scenes I try to avoid in books and movies of a senseless and barbaric act we’ve woven into the fabric of humanity since nearly the beginning of our time here on Earth. To the victor goes the spoils of the greatest number of lives extinguished.

In these moments, I’m acutely reminded of the chaos of our chosen existence. The swirling darkness that lives inside of us. How we strive for power by killing life. The irony is sometimes too much to bear.

Outside my open window, it sounds like a tropical symphony. Birds sing as though it is spring and the lichens on the lilacs wear a stunning shade of aqua beside a vibrant green moss. Looking at it brings me comfort. It soothes my troubled heart. As does the happy confusion of wild birds in January.

Nature accepts more easily than I do, and I am grateful that I can turn to its soothing balm to temper my troubled soul. Acceptance can be hard to embrace these days. It can feel as helpless as it is freeing. Inside of it, though, is the knowing that I have chosen to be here in this time, as we all have. To play some uncertain role that I often cannot define. To move through each moment with an intention to cling to more grace than anger. More love than hate. And more forgiveness than resentment. And, what a challenge for this we have been given.

 

We Are God’s Hands

help-1300942_1920 “It’s in God’s hands.”

The words took hold of me while I scrolled through Facebook, that place where I can only spend so much time before frustration builds. The words came from a woman responding to a post about the climate crisis.

I sit here, a day later, thinking about the convenience of this claim. How often it is used to excuse our personal actions, or inactions. This letting go of control and giving it up to whatever name we, individually, call the divine force that moves through all of us. It is a false claim. An untruth we choose because it’s convenient. To put up our hands up and declare that something is beyond our control is to give up the truth of our existence. We are not puppets in some divine play, we are the directors, the actors, and the story-tellers. We exist to be active players in this game we call Life.

We are God’s hands.

God is not responsible for the mass extinction we are facing and the rise of our oceans. God is not responsible for the fires ravaging the face of Earth or the hunger in the bellies of children whose parents cannot afford food to fill them. God is also not responsible for our individual and collective greed. Our hoarding of wealth and want for more. God is not responsible for the felling of our  rainforests and the bleaching of our coral reefs. God is not responsible for our choice to burn coal and fossil fuels over harnessing the power of sustainable resources. The responsibility is ours. Alone.

If we are going to claim to be children of “God,” or whatever name we call the creation that brought us here, we must also realize that as children, someday we must grow up and take responsibility for our individual lives. We must step outside the shelter of convenient excuses and realize that our hands are pulling up the roots, stripping our mountains bare, and turning the ignitions in our vehicles in the name of convenience. It may be an “inconvenient truth,” to admit that we are the masters of our own existence here on Earth, but it is the truth, nonetheless. We can either face it, or suffer the consequences of denial.

Greta Thunberg Standing on the Fulcrum of Fear & Love #IChooseLove

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It has felt, for many months, or maybe even many years, as though we are collectively teetering on the fulcrum between fear and love. Some days there is a slight tipping toward love, on others I feel fear pushing its heavy weight into our hearts and there is a slipping towards an abyss that I care not to imagine. Yet, how can we not face our darkness? There are nights when I dream of the Earth caving in upon us, her mighty tongue lapping us back into her dying body.

Two days ago, I sat in a circle of 22 children and talked about love and fear. Although they were no older than 10 yrs. old, some of them already knew of the science behind our emotions. Before I pulled Dr. Emoto’s book The Secret Life of Water out of my bag, one child offered her scientific observations on two apples. One was spoken words of hate, the other words of love. There was an unease to her giggle when I asked her which one had decayed first. Although there is a knowing deep inside each of us, it is sometimes difficult to allow ourselves to understand the effects of our emotions.

We don’t always want to own our energy, or the fact that our energy is intricately woven with all life. If we talk love to water outside of us, it forms into a beautifully exquisite crystal. If we talk hate to water outside of us, the water separates into an ugly mass striving for cohesion. To me it resembles a bacteria smear on a petri dish. Each day it is fed fear, more toxic colonies grow.  It’s worth thinking about what the water inside of you is doing, as I discussed with the children while they gazed at the photos of proof.

Everything, in essence, is energy. Somehow, over the course of thousands of years, we have learned to crave density. We amass wealth in the form of condensed energy thinking it will bring us joy, but we should all know that the tighter the wrap, the more difficult it is for the light to get shine through.

The scientific proof is there, yet many of us care not to see it. Just like the scientific proof exists, and has for many decades, that our climate is indeed in a state of crisis. A crisis brought upon by our individual and collective choices to push the lever towards greed. We care not, for the most part, to see what is going on outside of us or inside of us through the lens of science and truth.

This morning, I decided to scroll through a few comments on Greta Thunberg’s Twitter feed. I have been thinking about this courageous and brilliant young woman a lot lately, and how she has chosen to weather our collective storm valiantly without fear of personal attacks. Of which there have been numerous. One needs only spend about thirty seconds on Twitter to see there are nearly equal tweets on the spectrum of fear/hate as there are on the spectrum of love/reference for this truth seeker and speaker. I found myself amazed, yet not really surprised, by how many people self-righteously send out the energy of hate towards a young woman whose only motivation is to save them, and in the process herself and the planet we all share. It’s mind boggling in its essence. Yet, it’s not. Some of us really like our fear and hate. It makes us feel powerful with all its lies and self-loathing so that we forget that we are harboring and feeding a cancerous mass inside of us.

It would be amusing how much we fear the truth if it were not so disturbing. I have realized, over these past several days while thinking of Greta and all the courageous youth who are standing and speaking up with her, that somehow, quite miraculously it seems, we have birthed new generations who do not hold onto fear the way most of us do. Perhaps it is because they have not yet lived long enough for fear’s weight to grow into a cancerous mass inside of them. I like to believe, though, that somehow they were born with an immunity to it.  That finally, we are moving toward the light as we push fear’s weight into the abyss from which it came. If I don’t believe it, the alternative is unimaginable.