Coming Home ~ Embracing Resilience

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“Go back and take care of yourself.

Go home, and be there for all things.”

Thich Nhat Hahn

 

It’s May again!! I LOVE May! In all its glorious, fragile, green and blooming  life, here are the essential signs of resiliency in nature.

 

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Everywhere, in this small coastal community, the warm glad expression “welcome home!” envelopes my newest chapter in this ongoing journey. After a “sabbatical” year away, exploring, teaching, sharing life with family & friends in a new city & state, ~ I again have chosen, with further conviction and commitment, my home place ~ and returned.

 

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This Coming Home, this Embracing of Resilience, is a confirmation of the truth that sometimes our (my) traveling toward a new place, time , life – results in traversing the path of a circle. Sometimes we must leave in order to choose to return and to stay. Sometimes we must leave in order to heal, to learn, to find renewed resilience and strength. This year away has taught me that “home” is a certain quality of light, a purity of air and wind, the texture of the soft earth I walk on each morning, an awareness of immensity and infinity, a sense of place and purpose, a rare balance of solitude and community. Each of us must choose for ourselves- and hope to find that place which sustains our best self.

 

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Coming home, in my life, is finally a complete embracing of resilience. This long, complex, challenging, ever-changing Journey of Reslience is perpetual; however, I’m discovering some shimmering power can transform the journey when the resilience itself is embraced and trusted. No longer just a hope, or a goal, or a title of the path I try to walk ~ but a reality, a solid forever part of who I am.

So, this past year has been an adventure, an exploration, something gained and something given, ~but I have come home now, to settle into a truth – into the powerful nature of consciously deciding:

I trust that I will be given what I need, and placed where I am needed.

For now, gratefully, here I am.

Still teaching children to read, still singing with the sea, still glad it is May again! 

ONWARD!

 

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MIRACLES

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Miracles ~ This is our life: amazed, confused, unknowing, inspired. Unable to re-create the dawn or sunset, the ocean depths or infinite sky~ miracles are confirmed for us every moment of our lives. 

Beyond and surrounding our small existence is the infinite, the invincible power we are sheltered by, yet never can claim. Faith is the nature of living beings, a gift nurtured by evidence of the mysterious universe just beyond our understanding. 

 

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This Fragile Life….

When we bring our energies together, they are increased a thousandfold. Systematic change cannot be achieved without the energy of community. If you want to transform society, you need a strong community. Without that, we can’t do anything at all.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art of Communicating)

(this post is created in honor of the expectant, intelligent, demanding voices & integrity of youth in a world of loss & inaction, after the tragedy at a U.S. high school.)

 

This forever fragile life ~ yet fierce and brave and so insistent. These past hours & days brought grief, horror, loss ,and pure clear insistence by the integrity of youth: Life is fragile, is miraculous, is to be honored and saved and loved.

Life – death. Light – darkness. Cold – warmth. Hate – love. Confusion – compassion. Fear – hope.  Anger – commitment. Intention – action.

These contrasting words of this past week, in a country full of chaotic change, lacking leadership and inspiration ~ led by the voices of children. How are we all so continually fortunate? Yes, fortunate, given another chance and another sunrise over & over,…to find a new morning full of youthful, intelligent expectations & demands – reminding the elders of their responsibility to preserve life, to stand for what they KNOW is right & just. To ACT on their useless words. TO HELP. 

This fragility upholds a constant strength. In every snowstorm, there lies the promise of spring. Out of the senseless loss from angry gunfire and irresponsible politicians, rises the power of transparent truth. We WILL choose a different path. The day cannot come soon enough.

UNYIELDING COMPASSION

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Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

When violence erupted in our nation, a man named Martin Luther King Jr. taught us unyielding compassion. He gave us a dream that all races and creeds would walk hand in hand. He marched and he prayed and, one at a time, opened hearts and saw the birth of his dream in us.

Pres. Barack Obama (from his book, “Of Thee I Sing”)

 

….and we are still marching, still hoping, still living UNYIELDING COMPASSION. 50 years since MLK was killed….when will we ever learn?

 

(Global Women’s March, Jan. 20, 2018, Be the Change!) 

 

True Home

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“Your true home is in the here and now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality or race. You can find your true home….in the present moment.

     Go back and take care of yourself….Go home and be there for all things.”

~ THICH NHAT HANH (from True Home)

 

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A true Journey of Resilience is a journey toward, into and through “Home”. Again and again, over & over through time, we revisit the search for “True Home”. Is it community, solitude, place, family, a tree or a blade of grass, breath of wind, sunlight or endless space? Trusting in the gift of resilience, the blessing of faith ~ the journey continues.

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“Almost every moment of your life…you have a choice….whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften, whether to hold your seat or strike out….That choice is presented to you again and again and again.”

~ PEMA CHODRON 

 

“November” ~ R.Frost

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NOVEMBER ~ by Robert Frost

We saw leaves go to glory,

Then almost migratory

Go partway down the lane,

And then to end the story

Get beaten down and pasted

In one wild day of rain.

We heard “T’is over” roaring.

A year of leaves wasted…..

 

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….OH, we make a boast of storing,

Of saving and of keeping,

But only by ignoring

The waste of moments sleeping,

The waste of pleasure weeping,

By denying and ignoring

The waste of nations warring.

NOVEMBER ~ Robert Frost

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Every wall is a door. ~ R.W. EMERSON

 

 

 

Being Peace in the Midst of Anxiety

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If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, ~ not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

This morning, I watched the bright edge of the dawn become covered over with a blowing, darkening cloud bank. The light of a new day disappeared before it was completely born. I stepped outside and found gratitude for the fresh winds, for the light rain which, for just an instant, thankfully replaced the sound of city traffic. 

Yesterday, I drove to work in early cold fog ~ but looked up to the swirling clouds and lightest blue sky ~ the migrating birds soaring over the water ~ Seeing the transient, brilliant, warm shades of autumn in leaves painted just for our need of joy.

Such a time of anxiety and fear our world has never known ~ and yet children still smile, leaves still vibrate in myriad colors, birds still fly and dive, winds still refresh and cleanse. Religious leaders….like Thich Nhat Hanh and Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama….insist that “being peace” is possible every moment, and our attention to that possibility is essential in establishing & maintaining a sane world.

I find this a difficult assignment at times….and only remember how to claim it when I really see the constant beauty & calm of the natural world, hear the subtle sounds which can help my mind and heart to believe and have hope once again. I stand up for tolerance and compassion, rail against the fears/anxieties being generated throughout the world , grieve with the victims of natural and man-made disasters~ but I try every day, over and over, to see the gift of a smile, the curiosity of a student, the confidence of my sons. The future is now; the past moment is gone ~ I am trying so hard to look forward and acknowledge the great good surrounding all of us, the open door which might take us through and onward to a real peace of spirit and community.

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