A Summer Day
What a sweet local life I have. Waking with early light, I raise the shades to look at Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. I make tea. I take time to write a bit in my journal. Sitting on what we call the facing bench, my partner and I watch Nature waking up around us. We talk about who is doing what on the list that accompanies our days. We talk about what is next, what we want to contribute in our island and global communities. Deer parade by.
The garden is erupting with greens, veggies, and fruits—salad for dinner every night. I’m home after leading a vision quest and two consulting jobs with long plane rides in June. Now, it’s summer and I want the world to stop being in trouble so I can relax. I want a compassion vacation, an engagement reprieve, and an awareness respite.
The mind that won’t leave me alone is my own! I am keenly aware of the delicate privilege of my life. Every day around the world, people wake to moments like mine: a sweet hello in morning light—and then life changes. Out of work. Out of money. Family crisis. Diagnosis. Death. Fire. Flood. Volcano. Earthquake. Violence. War.
The world’s woes are stubborn and persistent.
“News” finds me—and it should. I want to know. I feel a responsibility to know. Events become part of our shared cultural experience, marker moments referenced in short-hand: “911,” “the Tsunami,” and now, “Charleston.” Most of these stories are depressing, but embedded even in horrific events is the uprising of human spirit. An extremist walks into a church, prays with a group of African-Americans… almost changes his mind, but ends up shooting 9 of them. This activates the racist polarities of our nation and words like white supremacy, Confederacy and its flag flood the Internet. And this outrage activates people’s determination to not be torn asunder, to cross the bridge together toward authentic racial understanding, to worship together, to walk side by side.
Whenever an act of hatred erupts, it is counter-balanced by acts of love, courage, and faithfulness. And in these past months with so much brutality, particularly the murders of African American men, making the news and the skin being torn off our white privilege, we have needed that counterbalance! Acts of kindness always happen: they are the uncounted on by-product of violence, the unintended consequence—waking up more and more of us, over and over. Do a Google search on “random acts of kindness following Charleston” and you will be reassured that this supposition is correct: good arrives to balance bad: love balances hate.
In this confidence, we may stand at the end of the eulogy, at the end of the service for nine faithful people shot while they prayed; we may stand with family and friends able to find forgiveness in their hearts before their beloveds are even buried, we may join the President of the United States in singing, “Amazing Grace…” and trust that, yes, despite anything—grace abides.
Dear Christina – You always offer such deep wisdom and food for thought. As we enter independence day here in the US, I hope you get the respite you desire. I hope grace and love and goodness will outweigh and overpower the bad that we humans create. I pray along with you that the world will stop being in trouble. And I know you will continue to be compassionate, engaged and aware, as that is the essence of who you are – a gift to our world that helps make hope, grace and goodness, possible. With love and support – Jude
Yes, Christina, all the good and all the horrible are with us all the time. Not either/or, but both/and. E) all of the above. And, as you say, it’s important to remind ourselves and each other that grace abides. Love abides. Connection abides. All is well.
Beautifully expressed, Christina. Thank you! My heart is broken, saddened, encouraged, filled with love and thankfulness – all at the same time. Your voice gives me greater perspective.
I’m proud, Chrissie, of your work helping people to communicate and work together. And I am happy to know that you are whole. Love doesn’t just balance hate, nor good evil. Love wins, goodness and mercy win, and joy will indeed come in the morning.
Dear Wally, I am glad to see your comment and to know you are alive, and hopefully well, in the world. It seems that you have used your “one wild and precious life” well in the service of goodness and mercy. Thanks for checking in, and sorry it took me so long to reply, it’s been on my mind many times in a busy rush of summer weeks. Christina