Hello Educators. How are you doing? I am going to suspend the notion that I can provide the correct words, to sum up or discuss the week we just completed. For those who thought that 2021 would be a fresh start, it became blatantly clear that the only fresh start that we can claim is the one that we choose to take on personally.
I had a recent aha this weekend as I finished my weekend dog walk on Saturday. As I approached my home, I noticed an exposed bird’s nest within the bare branches of one of my rose bushes. Closer inspection revealed the makings of the nest…small twigs assembled strategically, random foliage, and…tape? Yes, on the bottom of this nest, there were strands of tape hanging and going every which way. Now I know the birds did not set out to tape their nest together and have it as a binding element and yet, here it was, holding space with the rest of the components. It is likely that as a result of human beings leaving trash lying around that tape became another resource, albeit imperfect, that the birds decided to use as well. I stood there wondering, what if the birds decided they were sick of human beings leaving trash lying around and would only build a nest when they had the most ideal materials? What if they became disgruntled and frustrated with life and insisted that they would no longer build nests unless they were given the perfect items? What if birds acted like we often do when it comes to the challenges that life presents? I likely would not have been standing there taking in an imperfect nest.
Today we are looking at some imperfect times. The situation that occurred in our nation’s capital last week speaks to the depth of challenge that we are currently facing. We are a nation divided on many topics that are difficult to discuss even among those we consider of like mind. As individuals, we have quite a bit of what seems like irrelevant and imperfect “tape” in our world that seems to be clogging up any opportunity to create a sense of newness. The question becomes, what can we possibly do with this circumstance that we find ourselves in? How can we even begin to open our hearts and minds to the deeply differing perspectives that others hold? I am reminded of the following poem by Rumi…
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”
As we get closer to the inauguration, I sense that emotions will continue to escalate and tensions will run high. If more and more of us can choose to get beyond the noise, the constant negativity, the incessant stream of news that only reiterates what is broken and push into the field where we can find spaces of clarity; we can make it through with an understanding that brings about a sense of peace. We can use what life has presented at this moment and create our own nest that is responsive to the times that we are in and find the comfort, security, and courage that we need to move on.
I was speaking to my sister, Linda, over the weekend and she stated “this situation will not change and it will not get better...we are the ones who must change.” What we find ourselves facing is an internal project. I am hopeful that enough of us are self-aware enough to identify the internal shifts necessary to support our collective adjustment and move us towards a space of increased wellbeing. I send you peace, love, and light in the midst of this time.
In Solidarity and Love,