later that night
I held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
(by Warsan Shire)
I cannot listen to any more self-righteous, patriarchal, outraged men (and even some women) spouting fear and stirring up hatred. Violence and murder are happening everywhere – the MidEast, Europe, Africa, the United States, Asia, South America, Canada -no place is immune. I live in a town where 20 children were murdered three years ago, and it has changed and scarred all of us here forever. It's overwhelming. Yesterday morning, I turned off the TV and the computer and went outside.
We are trying to remove mountains of dead leaves, and my husband has been using the mighty leaf blower to push them into enormous piles. While gathering them next to the pasture, a flurry of leaves and small branches attached themselves to Silk’s tail. It was clearly irritating her. So I took my horse into her stall and began to extract the twigs and leaves carefully from her tail. It was slow and tedious work since I was trying not to pull, and the leaves were sticky.
I remembered how when I first got Silk, she hated humans so much that she would stand with her back end firmly planted at the door of her stall, warning people to not invade her territory or come close. I respected her and understood she had good reasons why she was acting that way, and it took literally years before she and I were comfortable being in her stall together. Now, I stood next to her strong right back leg without any concern that she would kick me or attempt to hurt me in any way. The power of love, I thought. Never under-estimate it. Love and respect and dignity for humans, for animals, for every living thing.
Recently, I’ve become very interested in the writing and work of Nina Simons, co-founder of the Bioneers. She tells us: “My heart keens with the sense of life’s very fabric unraveling. But imagine, instead of people being the instruments of Earth’s destruction, if we re-enter a sacred partnership with all of Life on behalf of her healing.
May we remember how to bring the wholeness of our humanity — our deep listening, our patient observation, our loving, powerful and tender hearts and our humble hands — and our prayers — to co-creating the conditions for thriving life.”
We are at a critical point. Around the world, in small, unpublicized pockets, I am learning of strong women who are bravely changing things for the better. I think about them all the time now, day and night, and while it frightens me to think about how it will change my life if I make this kind of commitment, and I don’t even understand yet what it means I will do, I know that what women do right now will have the power to change everything, and it’s time to give it all we’ve got. Never underestimate the power of love.
(Check out World Pulse ( http://www.worldpulse.com/en) an on-line communication network for all women, even in remote parts of the world, to speak out and join together in active connection. It’s inspiring. )