Poem – snow day

snow day

Remember that feeling you have
when you look outside
and everything
is covered by snow?

It was forecasted
but they didn’t know exactly
when it would happen –
what time of day,
or even if this day or the next.
But it was coming,
that was certain.

And while you were asleep
the snow appeared,
silently
making everything white,
everything new,
covering the world
with a silent calm,
a soft pure light.

Every prayer,
every reconciliation,
every bridge mended,
every addiction cured,
every honest conversation,
every deep listening

is a snowflake.

The world will change
because we will change it
because we were changed
one
by
one
by
one
a light comes on
and we share it, we shine it.

A new day is coming.
A new day is here.

Knowing the soul

Western medicine treats the patient like a machine, not like a person. They see the body as the sum of the moving parts, but they don’t see the soul within. They don’t understand the connection between the two – they don’t understand that you can’t separate them.

But then, this is because Western society does the same.

This is the same with modern food production. Animals are treated like parts, like products. They are not treated fairly or humanely. They are not even accorded the kindness we give to pets that live outside. They are treated as a commodity. Their physical needs are barely met, and everything else is ignored.

This started with women and birth. Women used to give birth at home. Then it changed so that women were expected to give birth in a hospital. Birth stopped being a private thing, a personal thing. It started to become as impersonal as possible. Strangers assisted your mother when you were born. Strangers took you away from her just after. You were just another baby in a bassinet. They had to put a nametag on your arm to make sure that you didn’t get mixed up with the other babies who were there. It wouldn’t do any good to send you home with the wrong family, would it? If you’d been born at home, none of that would have happened.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Do we look at the packaging, or at the gift inside?

Do we judge a book by its cover? Sure. All the time.

Women are judged all the time for their appearance and not their ability.

How many people do you know by name? How many people know yours? Plenty of people see me every day. Some have seen me every week for the whole time I’ve worked at the library, and they still don’t know my name. Some, if they know my name, only know the one on my name tag. They don’t know the name I like to go by. They don’t know anything about what I like to read, but they insist on recommending or even giving me books to read.

We can’t get upset about how everybody else has been doing this, and how long it has been going on. The change begins with us. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world.

We can change this. We have to stop and look people in the eyes. We have to slow down and really connect. It starts with us. It starts today. Turn off your cell phone and really connect with one other person today. Ask them how they are doing and wait for the answer. If they say “fine” and they don’t look like they mean it, ask again. Be brave. This can be someone you know or a stranger. Sometimes the people we think we know, we really don’t know at all. Sometimes we’ve been faking it with small talk all along.

It doesn’t have to be everybody you meet. Start with one. If you feel brave, try two. It is hard at first but it gets easier. Just don’t let it get so easy that you forget to really do it.

Imagine what the world will be like if we all did this, every day, for the rest of our lives? Time to start. Let’s go.