Category Archives: Gratitude
“Imagine, adorable, if we were walking through a beautiful field, in a beautiful day and suddenly a storm fell over our heads. How wonderful! Is there greater emotion than seeing the elements producing wild power and energy? Let’s go to the fields, Mary, and seek the unexpected.”
—Khalil Gibran, from a love letter written to Mary Haskell, May 24, 1914
Imagine, readers, if we were walking through a beautiful field, in a beautiful day with a person we love and suddenly we decided to celebrate the “wildly ever after” instead of the “happily ever after.”
Is there a greater achievement than successfully withstanding the wild power and energy produced by the elements?
Forget the fairy tale and the happily-ever-after ending. How dull! (And unrealistic.) Look with delight upon the storms that fall over your head and the wild power and energy of the elements.
Go to the fields and seek the unexpected.
I am writing this post early in the morning on Monday, October 19. It’s federal election day here in Canada, but I don’t know yet what’s going to happen. The polls haven’t even opened in my region. When I finish writing, I will pre-schedule this post to run tomorrow morning when the results are in and people will either be mourning or celebrating. I don’t yet know what’s going to happen, but I do know this.
“The arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
All shall be well.
No matter what happens, all shall be well.
If you invested your whole being in the Conservative party, and they will not form the next government, it’s okay. All shall be well.
If you believe that Justin Trudeau is the sure and certain leader for our country, but the Liberals did not win enough seats, it’s okay. All shall be well.
If you live and breathe the politics of the New Democratic Party, but Thomas Mulcair’s NDP candidates did not show well, it’s okay. All shall be well.
If you believe that Stephen Harper is a megalomaniac who holds too tightly the reins of his ministers and the public service and does not respect human rights, but the people of Canada voted his party back into power, it’s okay. All shall be well.
If you believe that Justin Trudeau is just not ready, but the votes carried him into the footsteps of his father as prime minister of this country, it’s okay. All shall be well.
If you believe that Elizabeth May is a fine candidate and her Green party has the potential to re-shape our country in a positive way, but the Greens still didn’t manage to gain any political headway, it’s okay. All shall be well.
I have close friends in all of those camps. Close friends of mine live and breathe the politics of vastly different parties. I love all those people. Not a one of them is evil incarnate.
That’s how I know that all shall be well.
Since confederation, this country has been led by either Liberal or Conservative prime ministers. Collectively they shaped this country into, what I believe is, the finest democracy in the world. Each one of them changed us for the better in some way. Each one of them made mistakes.
In between elections, the parties not in power raged about the travesties of the governing party. They ranted about what they would change. After all the bluster though, when changes in government happened, the new governing party kept what worked—even if they had raged against it—and changed what didn’t.
My diverse friends, although they approach it from different directions, are all driven by the same ideal: the building and maintenance of a great democracy.
I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. was right. Events which, at first blush, appear horrific or unjust, often lead to a greater good.
“The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” All shall be well.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada, may everyone in the world move slowly over the lines on God’s palm with hearts full of wonder and kindness, as Hafiz would have wanted.
Want to step so quickly
Over a beautiful line on God’s palm
As I move through the earth’s
I do not want to touch any object in this world
Without my eyes testifying to the truth
That everything is
Something has happened
To my understanding of existence
That now makes my heart always full of wonder
I do not
Want to step so quickly
Over this sacred place on God’s body
That is right beneath our
I love this time of year, when the Earth’s spin and the tilt of the planet carries us into cooler temperatures, shorter days and colourful leaves. And wool socks. And the smoky aroma of logs burning the fireplace. And cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves.
The cooler weather rejuvenates people. The shorter days give us more time to read. Pumpkin Spice Lattes warm chilled hands. (My daughter works at Starbucks, and she spends much of her time these days preparing Pumpkin Spice Lattes. People love them.)
Most of us love these things without understanding why, but scientists have theories about our affinity for fall. Catherine Franssen wrote about it on Huff Post Science.
According to Franssen, we like “predictable novelty.” In other words, fall gives us the two things we need all in one package: change and stability. It brings change that doesn’t make us anxious, because we know it’s coming. We also associate fall with pleasurable things, like pumpkin pie and walks in fallen leaves. Those pleasurable memories trigger neurotransmitters.
“The neuroscience behind that love is the trifecta of pleasurable neurotransmitters fired: dopamine (pleasure), serotonin (contentment) and norepinephrine (alertness). When all three are going at once, you’re in a heightened state of awareness in a really good way.” —Catherine Franssen
Apparently, many of us float through autumn high on dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine—not to mention cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves—as we eagerly anticipate football victories, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas parties.
Sounds good to me. I think I’ll have a latte . . .
More food for thought from Bishop Steve Charleston
“We do not know what is around the next corner.
We do not even know what will pass in our lives between sunrise and sunset. Therefore, whether we claim it or not, we live each day in faith.
We believe. We believe in ourselves. We believe in our family. We believe in others who are close to us.
Some of us believe beyond that, to name a loving power that guides us, to walk with others who pray with us. But we all believe, in some way, in our own fashion.
Let that thin thread, that simple affirmation, bind us in a shared respect. We are not strangers in shadows, but believers searching for the light.”
—Bishop Steve Charleston