“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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9/11 ~ remembrances

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9/11/2001 ~

~ I remember my aging mother in shock, watching the television news for hours…silently, fearfully grieving. ~Her generation having lived in HOPE  that we would never live through another world war.

~ I remember my husband calling from his school classroom, so early, having just arrived with our oldest son, firmly telling me to turn on the television now…. his voice all fear and shock and horror.

~ I remember driving our younger son to his school, because he insisted on being with his friends and teachers, as the morning’s events unfolded across the hearts and minds of this wide country….leaving him there so reluctantly, not knowing what was safe anymore.

~ And I remember my own college students, especially those from other countries, far from their homes. The shaking fear they shared as we grieved and searched for answers together. I remember so intensely the tears on the faces of the young Korean students who knew better than we how unbearable it is to live in constant fear of war.

9/11/2017 ~

Today, I wonder and question what this world has learned. So much has changed, yet so much stays the same. Perhaps we still hold onto hope, but what will we do with that hope? How are we all affecting the quality of the day in our wish to help make the world a better place? What course are we following; what intentions do we hold; what commitments to act on change do we embrace?

“To protect creation, to protect every man and woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, ~ is to open up a horizon of HOPE.” ~ Pope Francis

To affect the quality of the day~ That is the highest of arts.” ~ H.D. Thoreau

 

Sanctuary

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Peace cannot be kept by force ~ It can only be achieved by understanding.

~ EINSTEIN ~

…Promote an understanding of deeper human value – which is compassion…The concept of universal responsibility based on compassion is now essential.

~ the DALAI LAMA  ~

 

I live in a sanctuary city, volunteer in a sanctuary education center. For me, it’s time to act, not just talk. The conversations for years have been important and necessary: a sharing of concerns, anxieties, values, beliefs. But it is time to do the work, become a part of the active solution.

There is a quiet revolution occuring around and within many countries, a new chapter in the historic “underground railroad” of providing sanctuary for the oppressed, the refugees, the immigrants – neighbors and global citizens. There are over 500 sanctuary cities & counties across the United States ~ not only in the East & West Coast liberal enclaves, but in the heartland of the Midwest and South, including Washington DC! Hundreds of towns and cities, here and abroad,- liberal & conservative, standing up for the most basic of human values: equality, freedom, peace with justice, compassion & understanding, sanctuary.

There is no time for fear. No time for anger. It is time to give support, to educate, to be the best we can be – not through conversation alone, but by being a part of the solution. Being a part of the sanctuary. Accepting the responsibility of compassion.

I resolve to do more with this life than I did yesterday, or last year, or all the years before. Be a safe place, a sanctuary for those in need, in whatever way my education & experience can provide. This “journey of resilience” challenges & sustains.

“We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who’ll make a better place, so let’s start giving.” (Jackson/Richie)

…you know the song – start singing! 

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ageless continuity

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Even in the midst of all the mess of human nature ~ the struggle, fear, grief, hurt…~ there is still a quiet beauty present in small significant moments, ~offering, to those who observe, some miraculous hope.

As world leaders search for clarity & intelligent compassionate community, the natural world is abundant in an ageless continuity.

 

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Summer Light

 

“HOPE  spreads around the earth, brightening all things… We beckon this good season to wait a while with us…implore you to stay a while with us, so we may learn by your shimmering light.”

~ MAYA ANGELOU, from the poem Amazing Peace

 

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Summer Solstice, early morning. Just as I left it, in last night’s late sunset, the forest is resilient in the light of every new day. Light is always available. SOL…sun. STICE, from Sistere…stand still. Here it is! The longest moments of light. Embrace and hold the memory close for the shorter days of winter. Each day the goal surrounds me: Believe in the abiding power of an earth that is beyond our comprehension; know you are given such beauty for safe keeping. Be present.

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Summer light of the Solstice day, brightening and enlightening, strengthening and giving.  The symbolism of light is endless through the ages of  ancient and new thought. When I stop and really see, really listen ~ the light is simply life, nothing more & nothing less, still inspiring, guiding, shining hope. In sunlight and in shadow….

Therefore, the wise take care of everyone and abandon no one. They take care of all things and abandon nothing. This is called ‘following the light.’ ”

~ Tao Te Ching, verse 27

 

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Preservation

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

Thoreau

So that they will respect the land, teach your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin……THIS WE KNOW: The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected.

Chief Seattle

On this day, at this morning hour, I celebrate and give thanks for 67 years of life on this earth, surrounded by wildness and green growing life. This is the story of my life: a love of all things green and growing, of land & sea, of mountains and valleys, of family & friends, fine art and faith. This year, this new number comprised of the birth dates of my children (6/6 and 7/7), will be a continuing celebration in honor of the richness they have brought me, the challenges and freedoms born of sharing this earth with my children.

~A Journey of Resilience~