When we disagree with something, we tend to think Against. We don’t like this policy, or don’t respect this manager, don’t want to buy this product, don’t want to see this person. Against is a cloudy feeling, a storm in an endless night.
But when true tragedy strikes, a hard-won silver lining is that sometimes it reminds us what we’re For. Who do we want to support? What do we really believe? What kind of world will we help to create? For is the sunrise, sharp and clear.
I’ve been seeing this shift from Against to For in all sorts of contexts lately, from investing to politics to friendships. Conversations that are Against are usually full of anxiety and anger and fear. Conversations that are For are usually full of determination and action and love.
Dear friends, what are you for? What makes you fierce?
Let’s be For something or someone or someplace today, with all the love in our hearts.
When a mother redwood tree falls, from her roots a ring of saplings springs up, called a fairy ring.
And when that ring grows up, it is called a cathedral.
I was able to gather with dear family and friends recently, and had a vivid image of our roots, all intertwined, holding each other up.
Now I see that it’s even better than that. We are linked both above ground and below, rings and rings of overlap and intersection.
Cathedrals upon cathedrals.
Sometimes friendship is a welcoming pine amidst a crowded forest, offering a pocket of quiet soft ground beneath.
Sometimes friendship is a giant old oak, gnarled and craggy and missing a branch or two, but still standing strong and holding a place in both time and space.
Sometimes friendship is a clump of palms in an unforgiving desert, a promise that comfort is within reach, even if it is far off on the horizon.
There are so many forms of friendship, so many ways to provide shelter.
Dear friends, let’s take a moment today to appreciate those who have sheltered us.
Let’s stretch our limbs to offer some in return.
I have a big birthday coming up, which naturally leads to all kinds of reflection. It’s great to think of the long arc of endeavor in life, of all that’s been tried and some that’s been accomplished.
But it’s even more wonderful to consider the long arc of luck.
This passage by John O’Donohue steered me away from counting milestones and towards counting blessings.”Things our effort could never earn.”
Dear Honeybees, what is gloriously un-earned in our lives? A fiery autumn maple tree, a laughing child, a beautiful concerto, a steadfast friend?
Whatever these lucky blessings may be, let’s try to free our hearts. Awaken to the wonder of our lives.
It’s true, mysteries are not necessarily miracles. Sometimes a heart-shaped cloud is just a cloud, not a message from beyond. A gorgeous flower growing in an unexpected place might have been transported by squirrels and not angels.
But the reverse is true too. Have you ever really looked at a pine cone, or considered the circulation of air through your lungs, or seen one small child comfort another? There’s some awfulness in our world. But it is full of miracles too.
The leaves are turning in New England, and I have know that this is a perfectly explainable scientific phenomenon. But that does not detract one scintilla from the miracle. In fact, it amplifies.
Dear Honeybees, let’s look for spots where science reinforces spirit, and vice versa. Miracles need not be mysteries.