In that story where the pregnant woman and her husband get turned away from every door, would you have offered them shelter? Would you have helped the baby? Why not do it today? Why not help the travelers seeking shelter? Why not help the people fleeing with their child from violence? Speak up for them. Stand against the violent policies that tear apart their families and send them back into danger. Listen to Sweet Honey in the Rock: “Would You Harbor Me?”
Gratitude List: 1. You, who harbored me, my angst and my anxiety, my wrangling and my struggling. Let us be the ones who harbor others. 2. Your patience. I am a slow, slow, learner, but I am teachable. Thanks for trusting that I can learn. 3. Chocolate cream of wheat pudding. I just wanted a sort of healthy-ish snack, but somehow, I started dumping cocoa powder and sugar into the cream of wheat. 4. Reflections, and reflections of reflections. In water and windows. In eyes and hearts and souls. 5. People who help me not to do the knee-jerk dance, who help me to calm down, settle, relax and breathe before reacting.
Gratitude List: 1. How time shifts grief to a different space. This is the week, thirteen years ago, when my first child would have been due. I lost the pregnancy early, at thirteen weeks, but I was new to the horror of loss in those days, and it hit me like a truck. Today, it sits differently in me. Still, it wants to be noticed, to be remembered. 2. The light is coming back. We still have a long way to walk until Sunreturn, but it will come again. This year is harder than some, the claustrophobia more intense and grinding, and it’s hit me earlier. I am grateful for whatever lessons it has to teach me. 3. Coffee and chocolate 4. Getting it done, slowly but surely 5. Innovation and change
Gratitude List: 1. When we all work together. . . There is just something about coming together with a group of people to accomplish a specific task that creates a sense of community and tribe. I’ve experienced it in various ways this week–a listening committee, a group helping a friend move, being part of a web of people holding someone in prayer/love/light, classroom work, collegiality.
2. Mockingbird is beginning to welcome everyone back to the hollow in their own languages. (Okay, I know he’s actually establishing territory, but the effect on my grateful ears is the same either way.)
3. Chocolate. Especially fair trade chocolate. It is almost impossible for us in the US to extricate our pleasures and our luxuries from the economic and trade systems that oppress others around the world. May we keep edging our way toward freedom and justice for all people.
4. This coming week. I don’t know who to thank for the incredibly brilliant idea (whether it’s principals or superintendents)–padding the potential snow days into Easter Break, just after the switch to the final quarter–but it feels like I have been given extra days in the world, like I can slip between times for the next couple of days, get my work done, catch up on my rest, prepare for the coming month, and get back to work reinvigorated.
5. Needle felting. I started making a couple teeny tiny totoros for a small boy’s upcoming birthday, and his older brother has become obsessed with helping with the needle felting. I’m a little anxious about a nine-year-old and those tiny spears, but it is perhaps a good exercise in intent focus, and I love doing handwork with my kids.
6. Hmmm. I worked hard on this list just now, but I missed this one: new life, birth, how the heart is constantly being resurrected.
7. Oh, and this one: My favorite Jesus stories are coming up, beginning today: Jesus surprises Mary in the garden. (My friend’s daughter also loves this story: he surprises”his best best best friend,” she says. Yes.) Then he surprises Thomas and his terrified friends. Then he surprises the walkers on the Emmaus Road. Life-transforming surprises.
8. I’ll just keep going: The poetry of David Whyte, particularly Sweet Darkness and Easter Blessing.
1. Belly laughs and chocolate
3. Singing Together. Finding the notes.
4. Africa House (the art, the fans, the cool floor, the growly mockingbird, the rainmaker, the gathering places, the fireplace, the games, the way laughter echoes down the hallways, oh–even the skunk)
5. Telling Our Stories: All these wonderful and terrible stories, these wise and hopeful and despairing stories. How they fill the bowl. How we make a net together, to receive them, to sift them, to examine them. To hold them maybe, or to let them go.
May you make your path by walking.
May you find someone who will hold your stories with you.
May you walk on holy ground.
May you walk in Beauty.
Take mine, yours, any heart.
and hold it tenderly
in the bowl of your hands,
in the warm breathing space
where your open palms
have held damp soil,
warm eggs fresh from the nest,
where you have cradled
the heads of tiny babies,
Gratitude List: 1. Gentle reiki from Nicki
2. Charoite with yellow-green calcite inclusions
3. Learning to say No
4. (The other) Beth Weaver’s seductive chocolates
5. The Way Things Work book