Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Precious moments

My sister is visiting me for four days. Today we walked at the canal for about an hour and a half, and then hung out in a grassy spot by the river for about two and a half hours. While we hung out in the grassy spot, I frolicked about -- dancing, rolling in the grass, adopting various goofy poses. It has been a long time since I felt that way, felt that joy and silliness flow freely through me. I often visit the canal and the river, but usually in solitude. There is a certain vivacity that emerges only when in the presence of others.

Then we went home and had supper. I was worn out from the day's adventures, but my sister was not. As I lay resting in the living room, she washed dishes in the kitchen. I could hear her singing to herself, happily and un-self-consciously. She sang "On Top of Spaghetti," a capoeira song in Portuguese, and something about a bear with honey on his paws.

As I listened, I felt so blessed to have my home filled by her joyful presence. These are the moments that make life precious.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reaching for the sun

The weather forecast for a particular day may be uncertain, but overall, the seasons follow a predictable cycle. Life does not. We know that we have times of darkness and times of light, but there's no guarantee that summer will come to our hearts on an annual basis. Though we don't follow a predictable cycle as the year does, at times, we can identify our place in life as being similar to a certain station on the wheel of the year.

Last night, I was reflecting on the spring equinox. Spring equinox is a time when we are half in light, half in darkness, but we are turning toward the sun. That fits with how I feel. In the past few days, I have been thinking of all the things I use -- car, computer, cell phone, clothing, food, etc. I try to choose organic, locally grown, fair traded, recycled, and re-used products. Sometimes I succeed, and yet so many of the things I use don't fit these categories. I try not to use too much energy, but in recent days, I have felt it necessary to turn on the air conditioner.

In the same way, I try to devote my time and energy to making the world a better place, but too often, it seems that just surviving exhausts all my time and energy. I want to reach out to others in kindness and love, but too often I find myself discouraged and irritable.

And so, I live half in light, half in dark. I can never achieve all that I apsire to, but I can continue to reach for the light.

There's a song, "Every Flower" by Peter, Paul, and Mary:

Every flower's reachin' for the sun
Every petal opens when the day has just begun
Even in the city where they grow up through the street
Every blossom needs the sunshine to makes its life complete.
Some are torn out by the roots and cast aside
And some might be arranged for a bride
A flower's just a seed when it's young
And every flower's reaching for the sun.

Some are bent by fears they cannot see
And some are touched by love and set free
A flower's just a seed when it's young
And every flower's reaching, every flower's reaching
Every flower's reaching for the sun.

Sometimes I feel torn out and cast aside. Sometimes I feel bent by fears. Sometimes I feel I'm just a seed, not yet a flower. But still, I'll keep reaching for the sun.