Back From Holidays

“As much as summer should remove the burden of “should” and give an invitation to rest and frolic, the world is rarely a respecter of the calendar’s mood. It’s been deeply disturbing to watch, yet again, dozens of innocent lives lost in multiple mass shootings, knowing that collective trauma has now been unleashed on three more cities and states, to say nothing of the numbed-over fears layered on a nation already resigned to waiting for the next horror. These dark events, paired with a week spent in Paradise, California, where 95 percent of the town’s residents lost their homes in the state’s deadliest fire last fall, have me searching for voices that are in tune with shock and stripping. It’s like an ache for the appropriate chord, one that’s scarred and wise, vulnerable yet steely-eyed.”
Comment Magazine, August 9, 2019

This piece motivated me to write something this month. My first plan was to say, “Not yet back from holidays”, because I have not been in the mood to write.  I took a holiday from deep thinking and just wanted to garden, hang out with friends, listen to good music and not worry about the state of the world.  I wanted to bask in John Denver’s song, Season’s Suite (Summer).

Silently the morning mist is lying on the water, captive moonlight waiting for the dawn.
Softly like a baby’s breath, a breeze begins to whisper.
The sun is coming quick you must be dawn.

Smiling like a superstar the morning comes in singing, the promise of another sunny day.
And all the flowers open up to gather in the sunshine, I do believe that summer’s here to stay.

And do you care what’s happening around you,
do your senses know the changes when they come?
Can you see yourself reflecting in the seasons, can you understand the need to carry on?

Riding on the tapestry of all there is to see, so many ways and oh, so many things.
Rejoicing in the differences, there’s no one just like me.
Yet as different as we are, we’re still the same.

And oh, I love the life within me, I feel a part of everything I see.
And oh, I love the life around me, a part of everything is here in me.
A part of everything is here in me, a part of everything is here in me.

Then just when I am being a romantic, hopeful and dreaming of sunshine, a hand grenade goes off somewhere in this beautiful dream – and I am back.  There are too many serious incidents like mass murders, gun violence, political stupidity and the rise of racism in Canada.  When I say rise I don’t mean this is anything new, but it is now rising to the surface and acting like it is OK.

I am still on my track about love.  I’ve always lived with this question of love and probably always will.  I began reading a new book by Simon May called, Love:  A History.  He is exploring the phrase “God is love” and how it has evolved in our time into “Love is God.”  He asserts they are not the same thing.

This book also supports my thinking that we need to move forward with the understanding that love is a verb.  Love is an action to express our compassion or connection to someone or something.  Love is being vulnerable, which means love that reaches out to heal or oppose injustice is a big risk.  Often it is communities, religious institutions or groups, that stand together for a cause, that show the power of love.  People who risk being shot, hit, tear-gassed, or imprisoned because it is worth it to change our world, our culture for the better.  But then, not every group or march that claims to be right and good, is actually right or good.  Personally, I look for those who are willing to sit down with the other side, those who seek reconciliation, those who are willing to listen to the person on the opposite side of the issue, as the way for love to overcome division or prejudice or hatred.

Well, there it is, what I have been thinking lately.  Now I want to get back to a beer and sunshine in the back yard, visiting my grandchildren tomorrow, and celebrating 32 years of marriage next week.  But I am sure the world will bring me back from this summer holiday and call me to do something else.  Soon.

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