I like to think I am a glass half full kind of person. Most of the time, it is easy to perceive the bounty of goodness, love, hope and possibility in the world.
But other times? Yes, darkness seems to pull hard and my heart wobbles, my thoughts scatter and emotions surge. Yesterday I read in the morning paper about the antarctic ice sheet melting due to warming waters. The accompanying photograph is of the penguins and my mind envisions them - along with the polar bears in the arctic - sinking under rising seas. So too my heart sinks and the tears flow. Too much water, too much destruction and too much to comprehend.
This morning I learned of more bombings in Belgium. I don't know if my heart can dip lower? Overwhelm threatens to paralyze me. Yet I know burying my head is not a answer nor is it a solution. The ripples of violence, the pall of despair, the numbing of fear and frustration strike at us all. Indeed these emotions are at the heart of what drives the insanity and our reactions to it.
What can I do? I turn to what I believe is both the source of the imbalance and the means of transformation. I look within myself and I consider my relationship with Mother Earth and her fellow inhabitants. I consider the health of my relationships - with myself, with my community, with my home soil, and I ask where is healing needed? What is within my power to effect change? Can I identify my imbalances so that I might lovingly and compassionately begin to correct them?
I have identified for myself the need to establish a new relationship with earth. To understand in a way that is more than merely intellectual, how I am a part of the whole. How do I dishonor earth when I dishonor my own being? And how might bringing awareness to self care be a means of shifting the balance away from abusive patterns of acting/thinking/reacting and towards healing, supportive action, and an environment of mutual respect and consideration?
I step outside and bring my feet to the emerging green grass. I feel the prickles of dried blades give way to the softness of new growth. I close my eyes and listen to the birds speak across the lawn. I smell damp earth and perceive the slow but certain waking up of life that is Spring's arrival. Here is where I begin. This is what I trust. This is what I hold onto and here is where I pour my hopes and my fears for the future. This lap of Mother Earth. May she guide us. May she remind us we are all one. May we understand the need to pause and listen - really listen - and hear. May we come to honor her love in more than just words.
May we find the courage to continue to hope and to see what we do matters and each day there is opportunity to be an agent of positive change. It begins right now in this conversation with mama earth. I promise ... I promise ...