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Reaching for Light

December 15, 2012

Steadfast I stand in the world

With certainty I tread the path of life

Love I cherish in the core of my being

Hope I carry into every deed

Confidence I imprint upon my thinking.

These five lead me to my goal

These five give me my existence

Steiner

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I had planned to write another post this week. And then yesterday’s events caused grave pause. Waking this morning to think of all the other mothers. Perhaps you are like me, unable to fathom, to begin to wrap my brain around the event. Unwilling and unable to imagine it, to see it on TV for fear it would wrest my heart open too far and that I could not return form the edge of the cliff.  My breath caught, my heart ached.

Yesterday after hearing the news, I gathered my sweet Kindergartners, we ate our lunch and went in for rest. After hand and arm massages with warm lavender oil they slept peacefully in candle light, little faces glowing with content. Small bright beacons of light for our future. This little lull in my day is a luxury that I adore. It’s peaceful quiet gives space to meditate and hold in my heart  each child. I could not but wonder at what had been lost.

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It is difficult when catastrophes both man made and natural occur to find the holy in the world, the goodness and the right. Yet this is exactly what our children need from us now. If there were one mantra to echo and reverberate the canyons of childhood in order for them to find their way, it would proclaim The World is Good. It sets the compass to true north, calibrates the alchemy of  faith and hope, trust and wonder in life. I imagine it as though a child were born a bright shining candle in a crystal globe. Sparkling clear, radiating  beautiful light that is dimmed only by  smudged fingerprints of fear, smoked glass of disillusion, and obscured flame of uncertainty. The light still shines but is forever altered and its capacity to illuminate shrouded. We must become resolute against the faltering of the light, not through fear but with love. How do we do this you may ask.

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There are the  obvious of course. Although it may feel compelling to hear and see the news, refrain from doing so in front of your child, turn off the TV and radio. Keep adult conversations for adult ears only. If the thought of tragedy shocks and deeply saddens us as adults, who have the capacity to wrestle with it, imagine what it does to the sponge like quality of a child. Fully open and accepting of all, their wide mesh filters cannot begin process the information. Horror, man made, animated, pretend or natural imprints on them its claw marks leaving scars. It might seem that we want to include them in the world and its events. To discuss the news in order to prepare them or  temper them for “reality”. But I implore you to not do so. Shelter them, honor the right of childhood to be carefree, and joy filled.

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The little ones can sense our inner being’s anguish. We become the guides who they watch for leadership in how we perceive the world. Is it safe? Can I depend upon others? May I take risks ? May I love and be loved? May I be brave? May I trust?  Thus we must remember to find goodness ourselves. Shall we respond or react, for one is with purpose and the other without. Adults can reflect for children how an upright human conducts themselves, what goodness looks like . We are surrounded by a glorious wonder of blessings; and we are deserving of them.  Go into nature. Look to the vastness of the night sky and while you may feel small know also that the sun rises each day and the earth turns and all is really well. Share beauty around you, reaffirm those who are honorable and verbally recognize it in your child’s presence, comment on goodness.  Through  the overwhelming feeling of  distress  and impotence of not being able to help , we are always capable of ‘breathing’ with those who are in turmoil. Offering our inner strength in spirit and faith of human kind. Remember in gratitude all that is yours and the blessings that surround you. Radiate the light of love, faith and hope.

They say what you think about grows. Let us  think upon the vastness of  humanity and how we are all one, let us think upon beauty, let us think upon love, let us think upon light. “There is goodness in the world, that even the river of tears cannot erase.”

I have shared this poem before, it seems today that we might need its wisdom more than ever.

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Turn Your Face to the Sun

Maithri Goonetilleke

Beloved,

There are days when nothing seems right. When every shell you pick up on the winding shore is broken. When the silken treasure slips through your fingers too quickly. When comforts are empty. And the world is noise.

On those jagged edged days, when the wind is screaming for a reason only she understands. And you find yourself all alone.

Turn your face to the sun.

There is goodness in the world, that even the river of tears cannot erase.

There is love in the world, that the numbed armies of fear can not destroy.

Sometimes that goodness is everywhere apparent. It pours from the heart of every moment. From the light of every smile.

On those soft days, love hides in the eaves to drop like sweet honey on your forehead and sings her lilting lullabies in the arms of the winds.

But on some days, Beloved. On days like today….

We need to look, to see.

So turn your face to the sun.

Even when she is nowhere to be seen.

Go inside yourself. Find a speck, a splinter of beauty to be grateful for.

‘Yes’, the day has worn you. And ‘Yes’ our mistakes have been so many.

But say ‘Thank you’ anyway.

Take account of all that is in your possession.

A mind. A heart. A body.

A life that breathes, even if for just one more day.

Now count the eyes that have smiled
at you on your wild journey,

the hands that have held you tenderly,

the ears that have listened,

the prayers that have been made on your behalf.

And whisper your ‘Thank you’ again.

Count the sky that has watched you grow
with His painted eyes,

The heaving waves that find their echo
in the tides of your breathing,

The little birds that have sung
you their songs,

The stars which have been a lamp
to your path,
and are your
rightful inheritance.

Count unexpected laughter,

Count undeserved grace,

Count Passion and Love making and Dreams yet to be born,

And bow your head and say ‘thank you’,

Now count the lives who still need your light,

The hungry, the sick, the helpless,

Count the children who will die today

and imagine if with the breath of your body
you could help just
one.

Turn your face to the sun,
And know yourself as a child of the light.

You are the Goodness that cannot be extinguished,

The love that burns through the darkest night.

And perhaps,
In turning
You will see what I have seen,
that this day where everything seemed wrong,
was not your curse,

It was your gift,

Your chance…

To find inside yourself a forgotten ‘thank you’,

To smile in the face of the grim suppressors,

To stand in the heart of the glowering darkness
and turn your face to the sun.

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