August Reflections 2017

Carol A. Hand

August has been busy. Preparing to teach a research class, tending gardens, spending time with grandchildren and family, and taking time to simply live and reflect have kept me away from the blogosphere. Although my life will continue to be busy until the first freeze and beyond, I will try to stop by periodically to visit your blogs and share when I can. Your art and thoughts are thought-provoking and inspiring. Today, I’m sharing a few simple reflections recently penned as I send my best wishes to all.

Would-Be Dreamcatchers
August 9 2017

My heart is heavy as I think about my Native friends in Montana
Their incredible gifts and future visions palpable
They voiced so many hopeful possibilities
for the community health organization they guided
Valiantly, we faced daunting challenges
each carrying a compelling blueprint of what could be
We worked and laughed and cried together
as we overcame one obstacle after another
to help reweave an inclusive healthy community

***

Dreamcatchers – allowing only good dreams to survive and pass through to sleeping children

***

In the end, I had to leave for my own survival
before our task was completed
Vultures descended and shredded our dreams
Over the years I have learned of my friends’ struggles
against political adversaries and serious health issues
I wonder if I helped make their lives more difficult
by inspiring hope, by believing their strengths
and visions would be enough to overcome resistance…

And what of the people I refer to as vultures?
Perhaps they’re unaware that their actions
as agents in status quo structures of oppression
appear to motivated by protecting their positions
at any cost, destroying lives and what could be
Their actions limiting healthier possibilities for all in the process
Perhaps I will never understand why
this was the path they chose
and where it will finally lead them

Yet, I still mourn possibilities lost

It makes me wonder if it’s wiser and more compassionate
to simply find and live my own truths
though the suffering in the world remains unabated
weighing heavy on my heart…

Sufi Poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, offers an insight I continue to ponder:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Today, I also send prayers for the safety of my friends and all others in Montana as the Lolo Peak fire rages so close to their homes.

************

Reflections about Shifting Light and Shadow
August 12, 2017

gazing close at hand
watching light and shadow
move across the land

August morning

revealing a constant in my life
one moment knowing peace and joy
the next difficulty and strife

often shadows bring gifts despite our sorrow
sometimes unanticipated miracles appear if we’re patient
to reignite our gratitude upon the morrow

A Hollyhock Surprise – I’m not sure how it grew here

************

Just Here Now
August 19, 2017

so grateful for the peace and love in this “now”
a brief quiet moment as the day begins
sunlight filtered by leaves of rain-nourished trees
and muted by unopened window blinds
a little dog resting, curled beneath the bird’s cage
a parakeet silent and still beneath his protective night cover
dog and bird both patiently waiting for music to begin
so they can join their voices in song
greeting the peaceful morning
illuminating our shared place in the world

Queenie and Pinto

***

peace – a privilege so many are denied
sending blessings to all who are suffering

***

24 thoughts on “August Reflections 2017”

  1. Wonderful poetic reflections, dear Carol! Thanks for Quennie. He is great. His cage is a real palace. 🙂 You’re right: peace is a blessed gift, but the most prefer to cultivate storms in their hearts & ways of life.
    Have nice last summer moments! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your Sufi poet quote is right on. We cannot change the world, no one and nothing can since “the world” isn’t a thing to be re-cast, but is an aggregate of individuals. But we can’t change individuals either, except one: me. And that is the “world” I can change without violating anyone else’s right to her or his own way and destiny. Whether I agree or not is never the issue. A hard lesson to learn, one which most “organization focused” people never learn, hence why revolutions never succeed, but always return to their starting point… and hence why we call them “revolutions” and not “evolutions.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful and challenging feelings in your reflections. And yet these and others like them in this realm of relativity are always in co-existence. Be well, dear Carol as you prepare to teach. I always look forward to your posts. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love your work and your words Carol. My sister works with the indigenous in Australia and I have compassion for your frustrations and thoughts around progress and change for these beautiful people . I think although it can appear that you are losing the battle, we never know the difference we are making for the future. I hope you enjoy a well earned rest. 🙏🏻💕💚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments, Karen. It’s a gift to hear about your sister’s work in Australia and your insights about attending to the process of being rather than worrying about outcomes we may never see. I send my best wishes. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am often at a loss for words when I read your writings. Loss for words but not thought as I am driven further into the space where challenge lives. Sometimes I wonder if one knows the impact they have on just a fellow blogger not even someone who knows us personally. Your work, words, expressions and insights have a powerful impact on me. Your space here is like a cornerstone and I am so grateful for not just what you share but your genuine virtual presence.

    Liked by 2 people

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