Wednesday, November 3, 2010
What We Can Do
Today I am going to realize that I can only do what I can do. I am not going to moan about the elections. I cannot change the hearts or minds of people and try to make them think the way I do. That's not what I'm here for. That's not what I can do.
Here's what I can do:
I can take care of my grandson. I can take him for a walk. I can teach him about the feeding of goats and chickens and how much fun it is to share with dogs.
I can read him books. I can tell him how much I love him. I can keep him safe. I can change his diaper and I can feed him vegetables from soup I've cooked and straight from the garden. I can teach him today about snow peas from the vine and I can show him flowers I have grown and in that way, perhaps I can instill something in him which will make him want to grow up and plant things in the dirt to eat and for beauty.
I can do the best I can. I can smile at people even if they have bumper stickers on their cars which would, on the surface, indicate to me that they are idiots. I can try to be respectful.
I can take care of my house and my family the best I can. When I feel that nothing is worthwhile, I can think of my own children and how I have raised four of the most decent, wonderful human beings I've ever known. I can remember that this is important. I can remember that I have planted trees and god willing, will plant more. I can remember that I have loved and been loved and I do love and I am loved.
I can care deeply about people but I can remember that every person has his or her own path and that I am not put here on this earth to change anyone's path. That it would be beyond presumptive of me to try. That I may not be able to relieve anyone of pain but that I can hold out a hand, I can offer a shoulder, I can listen and thus, perhaps for a moment, in sharing, I can lighten a heart.
I can acknowledge that there is suffering, both of body and soul.
I can make a loaf of good bread.
I can sweep my own floors.
I can pick up the trash in my own front yard.
I can make my bed. I can clean my sink. I can tend my world because it is small and I am grateful for it and it deserves tending.
I can remember for my own self what is important and what is not. I can be so grateful that I live in a place where I can plant things to eat and for beauty, can raise chickens for their eggs and their companionship, where I can be reminded of the transience of life by the very boards that I sweep in this beautiful old house I live in, can be reminded that the life of an oak tree is as important and far more longer-lasting than mine.
I can pay attention to beauty.
I can pay attention to my grandson.
I can pay attention to my husband.
I can remember that things do change as I see wedding bands on the hands of people I love who are gay or transgendered.
These are a few of the things I can do on the day after the election.
In short, I can take care of my own home, my own family, my own shit. I can still believe what I believe and I can do that openly and not be persecuted for it. I can acknowledge that the mysteries of life are far beyond my own narrow comprehension and I can accept that fact with not only grace but with wonder.
I can hold one egg in my hand and see the rightness of this universe. I can hold one boy to my chest and feel the brightness of the future. I can look at the faces of my children and see the results of my labor and the righteousness of my love.
I can hold my husband to me and know the blessing of my life.
No matter who holds office, no matter what posturing and yelling and chaos and universal disturbance there may be, I can do all of these things and feel at peace in doing them.
And that, for this day, is enough.