Sunday, December 22, 2019

Darkness and Light

The Mystery within...
“The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to finally live it.” Those lines ended Richard Rohr’s 12/17/19 daily reflection. I wrote them down on a small card so they can find me again to remind me to live it. 

World news that evening did a story on a camp overflowing with 18,000 refugees fleeing oppression. I stood transfixed, watching and overwhelmed by heart wrenching suffering of the children and their parents in that camp. I was grateful I finished writing and mailing my year-end checks to charities, but the magnitude of need worldwide made my efforts seem insignificant.

The 12/17/19 Women’s Older Wisdom blog was titled, “Coping with Political Despair”. It began with this quote, “Activism is the greatest antidote to despair.” So I was grateful my letter to the editor titled, “Politics and Spirituality” was published in the December 19 edition of my local paper. (See Sacred Connections post, November 25 entry.)

On December 19 I was touched by hope listening to and watching Democrats debate who among them will be the best option to return fairness in government through just taxes; acknowledging we all belong and have intrinsic value regardless of our abilities; and understand the way to freedom, equality and justice is through teamwork. The Democrats' dialogue gave me hope for our country after suffering through the impeachment rebuttals. And I am reminded respectful dialogue is essential in any endeavor for change.  

Life is relational. We learn from own light and darkness and the light and darkness of others. 

What if we each played our small part to bring about needed change in how we allow ourselves to be governed, not alone, but together through teamwork.  Justice and equality in America can then be spread more easily throughout the world.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Living Life

The Mystery within...
November 27 to December 1, 2019

Wednesday and Thursday were two days of cooking, sharing meals, and socializing around the Thanksgiving holiday that left me exhausted before bed each night. Friday, Oliver had his follow-up vet appointment that left me bummed out with his  prognosis and on-going restrictions. And Saturday I took my first walk in the woods in over two weeks, without Oliver. I felt separate and alone, akin to when someone close has just died. And Saturday night I read from a book titled, Miracles and Mysteries Witnessed by Nurses, edited by Jean Watson, of stories of seriously ill adults and children, and either their mysterious cures or miraculous acceptance of their impending deaths. Those nurses stories put perspective on the vet’s recommendation that Oliver loose 25 pounds and only go on short leash walks to give his ligaments time to heal and possibly avoid corrective surgery.

Sunday, there was a cold, light mist falling when I took Oliver on his leash walk. As we walked it occurred to me that after I took him home I could ride my bike to the woods. But then the mist turned to a steadier cold rain and I had second thoughts about biking. But then the rain turned to big white flakes that melted when they hit the pavement so I put on my bike helmet, road to the woods, parked at its edge where I found a new walking stick to steady me on the path of slippery wet leaves that were now accumulating big white flakes of snow. As I walked the feeling of separate aloneness returned. I prayed for both my and Oliver’s miraculous acceptance of our restrictions and a mysterious cure. 

It’s only a little over a mile round trip bike ride to the woods and back and about a mile walk around the woods, so I am hoping the weather will continue to offer opportunities to bike there and back. I gained four pounds in the two weeks of missed walks and the continued biking will help keep my legs in shape for my impending surgery come January. In a previous post titled, “Being Present”, I wrote: “It occurs to me life is like the weather—always changing—and requiring us to change in response.”

Monday, December 2 to Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I’m feeling less guilty about skipping days of written reflection. Not sure if that is good or bad or neither. Are days too short? Am I trying to do too much? Wishing I had more energy to do it all. Or is everything just as it should be?

I spent this morning at the Ozaukee County Court House with friends petitioning the county Board of Supervisors to allow a referendum on the spring 2020 ballot proposing an end to gerrymandering of voting districts following the 2020 census. When I got up to the microphone to speak I told the Board of Supervisors the last time I appeared before them I was holding my first grandchild, who is now driving and looking to buy a house, when I asked that they approve a proposal to acquire Lion’s Den Gorge, a beautiful piece of creation on Lake Michigan’s shoreline near Grafton that needed protection from development and opened for all to enjoy. I thanked them for their decision back then on behalf of my grandchildren, all children, and for myself who now enjoy its beauty. I then asked that they please allow the people of Ozaukee County a voice through a referendum on the spring 2020 ballot proposing an end to gerrymandering districts following the 2020 census to protect our democracy for us and the children.

There are three women now on the County Board, none when I appeared back in the late 1990’s. I was so proud of them. Each spoke eloquently against a board member proposal to indefinitely defer our request for a ballot referendum. We left the meeting with a glimmer of hope since the indefinite was changed to defer to the January 15 meeting, which would still allow time for the people of Ozaukee County to have a referendum, a voice on the spring ballot, to propose an end to gerrymandering of voting districts. Stay tuned.