FINDING GOODNESS IN THE MIDST OF DIFFICULTY – DAY 6
“Feel the Big Love, share the Big Love.”
This statement comes from Native American culture, and I see it written on the bottom of cards and text messages all the time. The idea that there is a Big Love – an enduring thread running through life, everyone’s life – feels most reassuring to me, and a real source of goodness.
A loving relationship with a partner or spouse, for many people, brings a real and lasting sense of stability and comfort into their lives. Perhaps calling it ‘little love’ in this context, when it can be so enormous, is a bit ridiculous.
But doesn’t relational love wax and wane? I don’t profess to be any kind of expert on this, and anyone who knows me will attest to my fairly chequered history in romantic relationships (although I am ever hopeful!). And so it is all the more wonderful that Big Love is always available.
The world sometimes can seem so divided: so much conflict and division at any number of levels of society. When social media and mainstream news are dominated by disagreement, it can be soothing to look towards the smaller moments of unity and goodness all around us.
Today’s invitation is to notice the Big Love of nature unfolding, how no one is excluded from the joy of sunshine or the clean smell of soil after rain. And to notice how we share the Big Love from human to human in the millions of small ways we take care of each other. Such as when a car pulls to the side of a small road to let us pass and we lift a hand in acknowledgement. The exchange of smiles. And through lockdown, the kindness of people who have kept the necessities of life available for us all.
Mary Oliver: The summer day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around
with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
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