A Glimpse of Spring

We just saw a few glimpses of spring here in Michigan, where the early February temperatures increased, the sun shone, and the snow melted. Now we are back to cold, snow, and ice, and I am challenged to look more deeply at the reality of this season in order to see the hope of spring in the frozen resting.
 
Winter can feel so barren and desolate, terrifying really. It reminds me how vulnerable I am as a human being, and how much I depend upon others for warmth, food, clothing, transportation, and community. What a blessing it is to be alive and to have the support I need to survive another winter. I reflect on the many people in our society and in our world who do not have adequate resources, the ones who are cold, hungry, alone, scared.
 
How can I share my privileges of comfort with those in need?
 
It feels that we are also continuing to experience a frozen political “winter” in this country in which many of our elected leaders, namely the one who currently holds the title of President, appeal to our worst natures, exploiting fear, anger, racism, sexism, and xenophobia as a way to gain power and control over others. They point to immigrants, migrants, and refugees and tell us to fear them, and that the only way to avoid our fear is to build a wall to keep them out of our country. How do we find hope in such hostility?
 
I recognize this fear, this deep insecurity. It is as old as this country itself. It has driven colonization and domination of the land and of Indigenous, African, and many other communities of people for centuries. I make the conscious choice to look beyond this fear and to not allow it to dictate my actions. I strive, imperfectly, to take each step in a kind of love that has the power to transform, just as our Mother Earth is able to bring forth new life and beautiful blossoms from the depths of her frozen womb. I practice to sing each note in awareness of my deep interconnections with others, this sacred interdependence in which I know that, no matter our culture or country of origin, we are all related.
 
In this way I can see immigrants, migrants, and refugees as my brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles – as my relatives. In fact many of my ancestors were immigrants themselves. And many immigrants and migrants from the Americas are Indigenous to this land. And many Americans have blood relatives on both sides of the border. I do not want to build walls around our relatives. Rather I want to welcome them home and help give them the safety and security for which all humans strive.
 
The awareness of interconnection brings me back to a serenity that helps me transform and transcend the fear that is being promoted, so that I may somehow be available to reach out to my relatives in need, to be one more glimpse of spring in the winter.
 
The season of awakening is already among us, right here and now! When we are present with our interconnectedness, especially with those whom our society deems as “other,” we can touch that hope of new life and growth, of transforming love, and allow it to help us see the reality of our interbeing.
 
May we live in such a way that helps us to recognize relatives among strangers and spring in the depths of winter,
 
Joe

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