Archive for the ‘Humanity’ Category

39. Snapshot: Three Women

June 12, 2018

There’s a little photograph I keep on my refrigerator door. In it, three women are sitting in a porch swing on the plain unadorned wooden porch of a farmhouse, somewhere in rural Illinois. The women pose with proper grace, smiling for the Kodak camera, with their hands folded neatly in their laps.

The house is quite small, made of clapboard neatly painted white. It’s summer. Emerald green fields of corn stretch out behind the house and seem to go on forever, all the way to the horizon. This is the front of the house, and the two windows that face the road are plain and functional too, and there are no curtains. The porch shade is more than enough from the midday sun, and there are no neighbors near enough to look in.

It’s Sunday after church, and the women are my mother and my two sisters. They have traveled all the way from Dallas Texas to Bloomington Illinois for Mother’s 50th high school reunion. This house is a place where Mother lived a long time ago as a child, and the current residents have welcomed her to the old homestead and invited all of them to stay for dinner.

In this small snapshot I can see through time, to past generations of strong farm women, practical, hard-working and generous. I love this little picture for its sweetness, its honesty and simplicity. Mother has left us now, gone from her place here on earth to a higher calling. Both of my sisters still live in Texas, both have grown children now. My own path has taken me from Texas to the East Coast, to the Midwest, and finally to the West Coast of Northern California where I call home, a long long way from Illinois. I take the picture down from its magnet on the fridge door and hold it in my hand for a moment. I hold these women in my heart forever.

32. Courage and Faith

January 10, 2018

There is a basic universal law that is always invisibly working in our lives, whether we know it or not, even when we are totally unaware: “What we believe is what we receive.” This is the winner’s edge, and the loser’s self-defeating curse, because we can only be that which we dare to be.

In every aspect of life on earth, courage is the difference-maker. That, and the commitment to hold onto a little bit of faith, sets every impossible dream into forward-motion. “Nothing is impossible, if you have faith.”

Jesus said that, and he was telling the truth. That’s exactly what he and other messengers came for–– to give us the gifts of the power of truth. Some faith is required, and the greater the faith/belief, the stronger the outcome. But faith is not easy. It requires courage.

If your heart and soul truly desire something “impossible,” don’t play the odds. Go for it, all out. Believe anyway. Because if you believe you can, all bets are off, and the power of the universe gets behind that. If you dare to Believe you can do it – you will.

30. The Path: Life After Life

December 18, 2017

When my dearest, nearly-lifelong best friend Lynn developed Alzheimer’s and left us all behind, it was so hard, so painful for all of us who loved her. We were many, and we loved her so much. She lingered here for years physically, but gone from us in every other way. When she passed away gently in her sleep, in a way it was a sweet relief, and even though we cried for ourselves, we didn’t cry for Lynn. She was free again. Free to explore other adventures and discover new trails, as she had always loved to do. She was always the one out ahead of us, a joyful trailblazer in life. She still is, just on a trail we can’t follow as closely now, but someday will. Vaya con Dios, Amada, hermana de mi corazón.

Along my way I have learned that God/ Spirit/ Universal Consciousness doesn’t like Why-questions. But there are some things that even though I can’t understand, still I have begun to make some sense of, and stop my struggling to figure everything out.

I believe there are some things we simply are not given to know. God knows, and watches out for us, I can see the proof of this in my own life. But God, whatever that is, also allows us to blunder if we choose to, and wander off the path, and stumble, and even sometimes fall hard as we are learning to run, but never lets us stray too far. If we lose our way, or if we hunger for a greater challenge than this life holds, God can always call us home. Then in the morning, we begin again.

27. Step Into the Light

October 31, 2017

Most of us live our lives invisibly, floating like a dust mote in the air unseen until the light catches it drifting through a sunshaft, golden for an instant, then gone again.

Life is short. Spend as much of it as you can in the sunshaft. Be willing to be seen. It’s actually not as scary as you think. Step into the light and let life shine on you.

Try something different. Do something more. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Step out of the shadows and onto the water.

Miracles happen every day, but it’s like my granny used to say, “You’ve got to walk out under the sky and let the blessings fall on you. They’re not going to come find you hiding under the bed.”

We don’t exactly hide under the bed, except figuratively speaking. But technology has removed many of the necessities of ever having to speak to each other, or look at each other, or God knows, touch each other. This is not really a good thing.

Consider getting old-fashioned now and then. Openly care about somebody, and don’t worry if they know it. Maybe even, tell them you care. What a radical idea!

Try it. You might like it. What have you got to lose,  except a little loneliness? And really you don’t need that anyway. Love is better. Friends are better. Neighbors are better.

Go ahead, try it. And get back to me with how it worked out for you.

26. The Cancer of Trump

October 1, 2017

It’s Sunday, my day of reflection and spiritual peace. It’s also Yom Kippur, the time of atonement, and I find within myself something ugly growing. Trump has succeeded in making me hate him. Hate is something I refuse to engage in, and this has been my chosen practice for all of my adult life. Yet this man is so totally evil and soulless, and so constantly attacking every decent thing in my country and the world, always in the headlines destroying, destroying, destroying, our spirit of unity as a nation, and every ideal of democracy, decency, and honesty our country was founded upon, and always, before, has represented in the world. He carelessly and arrogantly commits acts no decent or sane person would ever do. My rage rises up against this monstrous being, and the damage he is eagerly doing to everyone and the planet, and the way that he takes pleasure and pride in it. That’s the hardest part to forgive.

I struggle with this. But when I meditate and pray about it, even though my heart is deeply troubled, the still-small-voice within assures me again, that we are all called to stand for something, and to protect what we know is right, in the face of what we know is wrong. Those are my thoughts today.

I am still the same compassionate person I have always been. I was a public servant (8 years in ALCO Fire Service) and a medical caregiver (20 years in E.R.) where I was able to have genuine compassion for some of the least-blessed and most-rejected forms of our human lives – alcoholics, heroin addicts, crack heads, wife-beaters, even a few murderers. But I cannot muster up any compassion for the vicious cruelty, hideous racism, and insatiable greed of Donald Trump, a reality no one in America can honestly sanely deny. When we have removed him from his illegal dictatorship and stopped his systematic destruction of my country and it’s decent hardworking people, then I will try again to forgive.