Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Walking Our Talk

I'm writing a second blog post this week to share with the Wisdom Bloggers Sisterhood in response to recent events in the world. We have decided to flood the site this week with positive messages of hope and peace as our way of spreading these truths and energies around the world.

I woke up yesterday morning determined to sit down and write this post, determined to make yesterday a beautiful, bountiful, peace-filled day. Then the phone rang. My adult daughter was on the other end of the line in tears... someone had broken into their house while they were sleeping and robbed them. All of my good feelings and "give peace a chance" intentions went right out of the window! How dare someone do that to my family? How dare they scare my grandchildren like that? How dare they invade the sanctity of my daughter's home? I was beyond angry. If I'd had the perpetrators in front of me, I'd probably have gotten myself arrested!

As the day progressed and I sat waiting for updates from her, I mindlessly scrolled down Facebook reading all of the messages of love and hope, and little by little I started to realize what I had done, or, more accurately, what I had failed to do: I had failed to beat them at their own game. I had bought into the fear and hatred and had come up all the poorer for it. No one had gotten hurt. Something spooked them off before they got much more than my daughter's purse. It would entail hours and hours of phone calls to cancel bank and credit cards, and a trip to DMV to get a new license, but everyone was safe.

It's one thing to chant peace slogans when it's not happening to you. It's quite another when your life has taken a hit like that. For a while I let all the "what ifs" take over my imagination until I had to go outside and walk it off before I lost my mind. Standing in the beautiful autumn sunshine, listening to the cows on the farm next door, I felt a shift take place. Hatred left and gratitude took its place. Hatred can't win if we refuse to hate back. The bad guys lose if we refuse to stop forgiving them. If the ones who robbed my daughter were that hard up, how awful for them. If they were hopped up on drugs, I pray for an end to their pain. Love wins, Love always wins. It always has and it always will, and that's what some folks in the world just don't get.

We've got to walk our talk. Sure, we can't just sit by and open our doors to the terror and hatred, but we can surround our lives with love, and forgiveness, and compassion, and peace. We've got to be the light in the darkness, the ones who show others the way. We ARE the world, corny as that may sound. So what talk will you walk out into the world today?

Harvesting My Life

I always have such mixed emotions when harvest time comes around. On the one hand, I am happy to see all of my hard work bear fruit - and veggies! On the other hand, my days of working outdoors in the sun accompanied by birdsong and cows calling are coming to an end. They will be replaced with time spent indoors all warm and cozy while soups bubble on the stove, and my yarn and crochet hooks lay in the bag next to my chair waiting for me to turn them into Christmas gifts of slippers and mittens.

I picked the last of the harvest a few weeks ago. I walked out one autumn morning to see the blueberry bushes from the blueberry farm across the way all standing naked and pruned amidst a sea of green tinged with light frost like silent soldiers, their work done for this year. Down below the sun sent sparkling crystal shards across the surface of the pond while all around the noisy geese talked among themselves, probably taking a vote to see if it was time to move on to the next leg of their journey south. The scent of wood smoke from the farmhouse nearby wafted past my nose and the air was suddenly filled with the thunderous flapping of hundreds of starlings that rose out of the pine trees like a huge black cloud to perform their aerial ballet against a crisp blue sky.

Harvest time is that part of the gardening year when you get to see what worked, what didn't work, what needs to be pulled and discarded, and what can be turned under to nourish the soil over the winter. My tomatoes did well, as did my lettuce. Basil and parsley was a bumper crop, and my spearmint continues to grow like a weed in the pot in my kitchen. The lavender has been a touch and go situation. I got different plants from different nurseries, and it is apparent which one I will be giving my business to next year, and which one did not have plants hardy enough to withstand the wind and cold up on this hill. Some of the other flowers and herbs just didn't make the cut and they have been pulled out and sent to the compost pile. Everywhere else, the soil has been turned and the falling leaves have reinvented themselves as mulch. The outside garden is done for the year, so now I'm turning my attention to my inner garden.

What worked for me this year? What bloomed and created bounty for me, and what just did not manifest because it was not meant to, or because the time was not right? Which beliefs held up and carried me forward, and which had to be pulled and discarded because they no longer served me? Which ones can I hang on to, turning them over in the soil of my soul to nurture and grow the next sets of intentions I plant there? What will I plant next year to bloom in place of the beliefs that withered and died from the top to the roots?

This is the perfect time of the year to harvest our lives. As we prepare for the celebration of Thanksgiving next week, it only makes sense that, while we are giving thanks for all that we have and all that has worked in our lives this year, we also take stock of what hasn't worked and what changes we need to make in our own gardens to have even more to be thankful for next year. Each year will, of course, have its ups and downs, its bounties and its weeds. The true gardener who practices her craft with love and good intentions will likely end up with even more wonderful things to harvest every year.

And so it is.