Love and Hope

milkweed1  Love and Hope  eggses

“Where there is love, there is life.”  –Mahatma Gandhi

Today is US Independence Day:
May your celebrations today be filled with joyful moments with people you truly See you.

May we as a people live up to the ideals we set for ourselves, the dreams we claim to offer, and
the maturity that independence demands.

Here is your assignment for this morning, class: Set a timer for ten minutes.  Write a poem or an essay about what this day means to you without using the words freedom, values, ideals, dream, democracy, independence, liberty.  (Yes, I broke those rules in the little blessing I wrote up there–that’s what gave me this idea.)

Perhaps it is a function of the lazy rabbit-trail-filled brain-meanderings of summer, but a warning: Today’s gratitude list is rife with parenthetical notations.  I could not help myself, but I am not apologizing, nor am I amending.

Gratitude List:
1. I still haven’t seen one this season, but Jon keeps seeing them, and it makes me happy to know that they live here, too: black snakes.  They’re earnest and secretive, mysterious.
2. Yesterday I wrote about prayer, and a new and dear friend wrote to me of the Sufi concept of prayer as “opening to the divine radiance.” I looked it up, and my preliminary searches have found references to the phrase “Divine Radiance” in Muslim, Christian, and Jewish discussions of prayer.  This brings me great joy.  (And it was a lovely synchronicity, because I read her note just after a conversation with my parents, in which we had discussed Sufi mysticism, in which my father had been reading Hafiz poems to me. Am I not fortunate to have such parents? There’s a bonus gratitude thrown in for the morning.)
3. I love the charge in the air on a morning that is waiting for rain.
4. All the flowers.  In my parents’ (yes, there they are again) garden: deep red gloriosa lily with yellow tips, fluffy white hydrangea, deep purple and dusky rose lisianthus (because my name is Elizabeth Ann, I have this feeling that the Lizzy-Ann flower is personal to me), deep magenta rose, yellow day lily, violet clematis.  Along the roadsides, thousands of blue-eyed chicory (we used to call them cornflowers–I like both names), the elegant dusty green and golden-tipped heads of hag’s taper (mullein, but I like the common name), shaggy pink balls of milkweed that haven’t yet been mowed down (please let them stay!), bright orange day lilies, the delicate lace of Queen Anne, violet carpets of vetch, bright golden patches of buttercup.
5. Community conversations

May we walk–like the snakes, like the flowers, like the birds–in Beauty, in Wisdom, in Prayer.

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