Honoring as a Life Path

01-honoring-asWith Obama’s beautifully moving and unprecedented inauguration this past week, I am aware of an even deeper gratitude for his gracious, powerful presence — and for the wise hands he has on the tiller as he care-fully guides our country through new waters. The quality of honoring is what Barack reflects to me, of the importance of taking the time and care to treasure ourselves and the vibrant presence of life all around us.

Although I haven’t spent much time in what has been called the heartland of America, the photograph above touches me into a deeper sense of honoring for the abundant nature of land — including the sustenance that grows from its soil and nourishes our bodies, the miraculous beauty and wetness in the sky that clouds and then rains on the landscape — all part of the intimate cycles and orchestration of life. (Even the wind “capturers” reflect a more recent honoring of the land through their harvest of the force of the invisible wind as a source of renewable energy.)

As I take a moment to reflect on the forces of nature in these powerful times of change, I’m reminded of the following words:

“Great crises often provoke hidden resources and can reveal the underlying unity of life. At critical moments in history, mythic sense tries to return and indicate life’s inherent capacity for renewal. In times of change, it becomes important to have a narrative feel for life and a reverence for the unseen presence of eternity.”

~ Michael Meade, The World Behind the World

“The spiritual journey is a creative journey. It’s about birth. It calls us past the boundaries of convention. It tests our willingness to see life in a new way and our courage to express it: for new ways of viewing life in the face of what is commonly accepted. We become new, and in this ongoing birthing, we bring new forms to life as well. [The experience of] membership is offered repeatedly, a tapestry of sunlight and shadow, texture, creatures and earth.

~ Anne Hillman, The Dancing Animal Woman

Speaking of honoring, a couple of weeks ago I had a touching experience while “garage sailing” with Johnny & Christian, one of our favorites activities to do together on Saturday mornings. We came upon a garage sale hosted by a a lovely woman and her 6-year old daughter. The daughter was busy creating drawings using crayons. The mother mentioned that the girl was selling her drawings, so I gently went over and kneeled down at her drawing table and found myself oooohing and aaaahing at her many colorful creations. I saw one I liked (it really was charming: of a little girl that included an adorable story about a girl that didn’t like candy), and asked her much she was selling it for. Her mom said they had agreed upon 25 cents, and the girl looked at me with her big eyes and nodded yes with a sweet smile. I told her I would like to pay 50 cents for the one I chose, as I really liked it. She was most pleased, joyfully clasped the two quarters in her delicate hand, and said thank you very much. The mother looked at me with such a sweet look in her eyes — she instinctively knew I had children as well (it was that look that folks who belong to the “parent club” recognize well). As I walked away, the mother quietly said to the girl, very sweetly, “See, I told you honey — art sells!” It was such a tiny sliver of an experience, which might have been 4 minutes in length, but it sure made my day, that’s for sure.

Before closing for this week, I must pass along a fitting poem I just discovered:


by Diane Ackerman

The great affair, the love affair with life,

is to live as variously as possible,

to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred,

climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day.

Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding,

and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours,

life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography,

only a length.

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery,

but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

May the Blessings of honoring be with you as we steward our lives holding front & center what is most precious to us, Gavin

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