I believe God is love, and that the impulse of kindness towards others is God reaching out to God. I believe that to risk loving means facing our own imperfections, our shadow, and that to ask forgiveness is holy. Love is tougher than she appears, and can slip through a crack with gifts. She can stand up to anger and miscommunications as long as she is volleying with another heart. Love holds four aces, with one more up her sleeve.
I believe in second chances, feeding the birds, checking in on a neighbor, hand written thank-you notes, remembering birthdays and returning phone calls.
I believe my daughter benefited from the relationship she had with the tooth fairy; she learned to leave a gift as well as to expect one. I believe I will have a great-great-granddaughter who will look like me but who will never have heard my name, just as I don’t know the name of my own beloved ancestor.
I believe the animal kingdom is waiting for us to speak their language, and that plants thrive when we tell them they’re beautiful.
I believe that what scientists call “junk DNA” is an untapped wealth of wisdom and joy we haven’t yet learned to decode.
I believe friendship is sacred, and silence has a place on the altar. I believe life is a wink, giving birth is ecstasy, and if I prepare myself, death will be too.
I believe in planting seeds no matter the weather, the political storms, or the gathering bigotry and hatred. I believe we will survive this brutal moment when babies are torn from their mother’s breast. It no longer serves to say “this is not who we are.” Children were ripped away from Native Americans; slaves were separated from their young on the auction block. This is who we are. And while I wholly believe we are awakening from the illusion of separation, it’s painful to be faced with my own blindness, privilege, denial, with the challenge of living the truth that consciousness is an indivisible whole, and that the harm done to one is done to all. There is no safe place any longer except in the shelter and care of each other. I believe that grief is love’s sister, and refusing to turn away from suffering is an act of sacred resistance.
Now you know the worst
we humans have to know
about ourselves, and I am sorry,
for I know that you will be afraid.
To those of our bodies given
without pity to be burned, I know
there is no answer
but loving one another,
even our enemies, and this is hard.
when a man of war becomes a man of peace,
he gives a light, divine
though it is also human.
When a man of peace is killed
by a man of war, he gives a light.
You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you will have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be
the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be your light.
~ Wendell Berry To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust
Museum on the day of the burial of Yitzhak Rabin