The Spiral Grove

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Long Nights Moon Wishes

December always puts me in a misty sort of, nostalgic mood. I get to thinking about my great, great grandmothers and the very real struggle they endured to survive the winter, and see their children alive on the other side of it. We take so very much for granted today. We don't have to walk to the river and break through the ice to get water, or go to an out house to relieve ourselves. And those were the least of the problems in the pre-industrial period.

Last night was the longest night of the year. Today the sun came out and filled our living room with brightness. The candles we lit last night at our annual winter solstice observance were still burning and their cinnamon odor filled the room. Life is good. Despite any problems or dificulties we might have, we are truly blessed and have nothing to complain about, even thoughI am certainly guilty of whining about our problems.

I know that is not true for everyone in the world. I read the stories of real suffering each day. I wish there was more I could do to stop it. Like most idealistic dreamers I want to fix all the problems in the world and put all my brothers and sisters to bed happy and fulfilled. How much can I do to achieve it though? Oh I can donate money, or work for a charity, but I think real peace begins as a tiny seed, then hopefully takes root and spreads like an unruly vine all over the place. So here is my effort at planting a seed.

One thing I have been noticing lately is how quick those around me are to take offense and grow anger toward their family and friends. My kids illustrated this just last night. My 17 year old daughter and 14 year old son were talking. She took something he said offensively and got angry. She shot off some unkind words. He became upset and shot back. She then did the one thing she certainly knew would upset him, she knocked over his bass guitar. It got hairy from there. They are still not talking and all over a root problem that in essence was no more than a misunderstanding. Had she simply not assumed malice, or asked him what he meant by his comment all of this could have been avoided. I've been noticing a lot of this kind of thing in my family and friends lately. I wish it would stop. That everyone will give the benefit of the doubt, communicate and remember that the relationship they have with the other person is worth too much to just let anger grow like a cancer until it consumes everything good that used to be between them.

You gotta give peace a chance, at the grass roots, in your own life, long before you can hope to change the world.



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