Monthly Archives: May 2016

Spiritual Tribe: A 93 Million Mile Perspective

river view after rainThe question before my two co-workers and myself  was: what music shall we next play via the bluetooth speakers displayed at our technology shop.   We had maxed out “best hits of the 70’s” and “folk instrumentals”.    Classical got six thumbs down.

“Try Jason Mraz,” my 20 something sales rep suggested.  Having no better idea, I found the album “Love is a Four Letter Word” on Amazon Prime and pressed play.   Upbeat.  Pleasant.   The work day went on. The lyrics of progressive songs faded into the background.

Until 93 Million Miles.

93 Million Miles: the distance from the Sun to the Earth.

From that perspective, can the human family appear anything other than a  whole, a single tribe, infused with the Natural colors and tones of our planet?

Walk on Earth, however, and polarizing ideologies and vocal viewpoints (at least here in the United States) can overwhelm the senses, fracturing and isolating us from each other, even if we’re just meters or inches apart from each other.  All this has long left me with questions more difficult to answer than which is the next album to be played.

“Is it possible to talk with a stranger about anything other than the weather without stirring discomfort or igniting a firestorm?”  “What can help a sense of common ground emerge?”   “What type of everyday interactions can nourish, if not a 93 million mile perspective, at least an inkling of togetherness and a feeling of person to person real-ness?”

What answers do you have?

One approach I’ve been trying out on some of my customers is to invite conversation about cherished places, during lulls in the technology sales process (seems like we’re always waiting for some data to back up or download or some email password to be reset). It’s an easy transition from generic weather comments or “how was your weekend” to “On summer evenings after the rain, I love looking out over the river . . . ” which can easily evoke “I know a place like that . . . ”

Seems that nearly everyone has some landscape, vacation spot, back yard, or secret hideaway that stirs the Heart and imagination.   In these memories, I see a coherent mosaic and hear the notes of an earth-love song that I’ll sing and play any day.  Here. 93 million miles from the sun.

 

 

Spiritual Tribe: Water Lovers

forest and lake

Black Bass Lake hides down a steep gravel road, off the beaten tourist track.  Just a few minute “detour” off my usual route home.   The walking paths are well tended and generally easy to navigate, leaving the heart and mind free to wander (except for the usual need to keep up the watch for venomous snakes).

snake note This warning note was left on the entrance picnic table  

Some days the lake sparkles with such intensity and welcoming joy that all that can be contemplated is the water’s beauty and biological imperative.  Not to mention its literal and symbolic linking with Love  – flowing, essential, powerful, quenching, sustaining, sometime seemingly in short supply, unifying, worth sharing and preserving .  sun black bass lakeBlack Bass Lake once served as the primary source of drinking water for the City of Eureka Springs.  Current signage, even at its flowing springs, warns against drinking the water.  I pondered these juxtaposed realities, as I circled the Lake one recent brilliant afternoon, and recalled many of the people and groups I’ve been reading about who are intent on defending  deep aquifers and surface waters.   These Water Lovers are a diverse group, spread out in geography, differentiated by language, and circumstance, but united in their overarching wisdom and commitment to preserving this vital Natural element.

Have you participated in actions to defend waterways near you?   I would love to hear your story.

Your might appreciate this  article highlighting the wisdom and efforts of the women of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Band in North Dakota, who chose and fought for clean drinking water over the supposed financial benefits of fracking.    And won.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Response: Being like a Bee

bees

The bees kept on coming.  Doing what bees do.  Being what bees be. They nestled into and alighted from the sun soaked blossoms, completely unaware that the Brussels sprouts so carefully seeded and tended in hoop covered rows from autumn, through winter into the accelerating spring warmth had technically failed.  Traces of sprouts had appeared, but none had matured.   All had withered away.

Never in 13 Ozark growing seasons have I met anyone who has successfully cultivated Brussels sprouts.  Too hot?  Too buggy?  Too rocky?   So many possible impediments.

Somehow untouched by this viewpoint, my avid gardening partner, Carol, planted seed for a veritable Brussels sprouts forest in her raised beds last fall.   It was with her healthy-leaved, flower-rich plants that the bees communed last Sunday, while we pulled up bittering lettuces, toughening kale, and seeding cilantro to make room for warm weather friends — tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash.

There was no question of letting the “failed” Brussels sprouts remain for the bees.

Indeed the only question that lingered was the question of our human “being” and our  human “doing” in the face of individual and shared 21st century challenges.   You know the list.

Our major religions all speak of Love.  Our heroic myths tell of strength, courage, devotion and daring.   In the presence of the bees (who seemed so sure and easy in their mission and their being), I wondered for myself and for us as a species, will I/we commune with and respond from the flower the Heart?   To what extent will I/we pollinate life with bravery, insight, resolve, and compassion?    I hope we will respond on par with the grace and confidence of bees.