Delicate, fragile, exquisite. . .silent beauty
The cycle of the solstice circles about us again. We are participants in what we see and don’t see. The planet spins continually, gliding silently through the wilderness of space, making the voyage while we think our lives really matter all that much. Specks of sand or snowflakes as we are. Tiny, nearly insignificant beings in the uncharted, limitless vastness. Bacteria on the face of the earth. Viruses or cleansing creatures adding to the health of the planetary body. I suppose that is up to us. Our decision. Our choice. To harm and hurt or heal and help. Our choice, to work with the earth to enhance and cultivate our garden home or look somewhere else and dream of leaving it to crumble into dust as we disappear into a higher heaven or dissolve into starstuff.
Again, people debate the meaning of the season. Arguing over whose peace is the real peace–and sometimes killing over it. Madness. Ad-ness. . .marketing of religion and “reality shows” of consumer lives consumed by stuff–more and more and more Stuff.
Trees fall; animals are sacrificed; precious time and energy and life taken. . .all while poverty and war and injustice and joblessness and homelessness seem to prevail. I ask every day, “Why am I the director of a shelter–a little lifeboat with so few who simply need a place to sleep–a place to belong, to be welcomed with hospitality and a warm, safe spot on a floor?” Why? This is America isn’t it? This is wealthy Marin isn’t it? I tell the “crew” and the “passengers” every afternoon waiting in the free dining room, “I don’t want to do this. This is crazy. You just want to sleep and we have to spend a hundred grand and drive you all over the county just so you can sleep for a few months. Nuts. Really nuts.” While America is making war; while the nation puts off healthcare for people like me who cannot afford it; while banks and corporations live off the backs of the rest of us. There is suffering, disease, death and destruction. Pretty awful. Yet, yet, somehow we keep doing what must be done–“doing the right thing” at the right time. As Martin King said it, it is the time to break silence–with “the fierce urgency of now.”
This is very much a time to celebrate! Rejoice in the cycle of life, the goodness of friends and family, love and kindness and generosity. With or without a faith story to tell, December, January and beyond are months of Nature’s hidden art–from the skyflowers that gently drift down to the refreshment of rain, to the migrations of birds to the chill of a night covered with a net of stars.
This season offers incredible beauty even as we mess it up, as we sadly ignore the greatness. The greatness of which we are a part, an inseparable part, as we are intricately interconnected with the good and the bad and the ugliness of our world. May we never forget it is Our World–and, as I see it, Our Only World, to care for and share with all life upon it, in every season, through all the cycles and circles of our fragile and temporal breath.
Peace, Joy and Health
And Give Yourself a few minutes of Laughter!: Colbert on Christmas