4:33 PM 11 November, 2022…
Just back from a walk in the Public Gardens…a walk in the embrace of the Holy…where dragonflies landed on the pages of the book a woman next to me was reading–they looked at each other for a long moment before she laughed aloud with delight.…
A walk where burnt red-orange roses are in bloom against the textures of autumn…where some trees are still blazing and others have long since cooled and allowed their bird nested branches to dance knotty and free in the wind…a walk where blue jays welcome me home to the front porch…
A walk where I held in heart a forty-one year old from Peru whose death notice I just read…a woman whom I had known from meetings, and I think also in person…A walk where I thought about what matters to me in terms of the measure of a life lived.…about what matters and what absolutely doesn’t.
It was a walk that followed conversations with guests at the Centre who are here visiting a family member who has had a hard go of living–they are here to remind her that she is not alone and that someone cares. They are here for Love and not the illusion that anything will change. They are a beautiful couple and I have enjoyed the range of topics casually covered with them…Conversations that this morning followed making apple-cinnamon scones while remembering family members and friends who have been a part of the military……and at the same time praying that somehow war…that somehow, war might give way to healing, to wholeness.
I had left scones on a plate for the guests–They left a note explaining that they had taken them to share with the family member. The smile within me upon reading that felt like the sunshine had felt on my neck and back in the Public Gardens…blooming, soft, and encompassing.
All of this… The Gardens, the walk within them, what came before and after and during… this brought me back to a snippet from Richard Power’s book The Overstory:
There are a hundred thousand different species of love, separately invented, each more ingenious than the last, and every one of them keeps making things. The Overstory by Richard Powers. P. 144.
What if we asked of ourselves and those around us— When we grow in the expression, the manifestation, of our species of love, what do We make? Do we make more justice in this world? Do we make joy? Have greater resilience? Do others find respite with us or do we pose a threat? Do we reach out to neighbour and share nutrients? Do we make our acreage healthier by what our love produces?
Do we feel closer to God? Do others, when their lives intertwine with ours?
I can’t help but think that the answers to these questions, well-considered, could lead to a more peaceable forest-of-humans-community where a great diversity of species are able to flourish in grandeur and in a fullness of love.