Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Holy Days, Spiritual Dandelions, and a Community of Hope

by Troy Chapman

(published December 03)

Every year when the holy days arrive I like to spend a little time in reflection, looking back at what's just passed and forward to what might become.

This year there is, of course, the war and the strange political climate of these times. Beyond this there are the things that seem always to be with us — poverty, homelessness, injustice, fear, and too much hatred.

But there is also light and goodness. There's music, and snow, and children, and expectation. There is kindness, and searching, and love, and love-making, and cocoa, and emergence.

And I, for one, am spiritually optimistic. I believe in the light, the holy spirit, that spiritual seed that is hungrily moving about our world in search of fertile ground. Like the wonderful little floating seeds of the dandelion it moves with the wind and takes root in the most unlikely places — a crack in the asphalt of an abandoned parking lot on the one hand, or a hardened, hopeless and hurt heart on the other. There it blossoms and goes to seed again.

I believe also in the people who, when they see one of these spiritual dandelions all white and round, can't resist picking it carefully, bringing it to their lips and blowing hard. These are the people of The Lifeful Way. I'm always thrilled when I look at this community we've created together. I don't know many of you. I don' t know what made you subscribe to our newsletter Inspirit, or to this e-letter, or to send donations to keep it going. But I wonder about you, about your lives, your struggles, your hopes. I think about the common ground on which we stand, the "overlap" of our consciousness.

I also think often about how you've changed me. Your presence as a community in communion around the vision and work of The Lifeful Way has inspirited me, inspired me to spend countless hours thinking about what I can do to contribute more to this community, to you. By receiving The Lifeful Way, being open to it, you've encouraged both Maryann and me to define ourselves more clearly and to explore more deeply the possibility of this hope we have.

Many of you have written letters and sent e-mails with your comments about something we've said. This feedback and interaction uplifts us in ways you can't imagine.

We're often so busy just keeping up with the work that we don't have time to tell you this, to say thank you. So, that's the point of this e-letter. This holiday season know that you have profoundly touched our lives and that you belong to this community of hope; that the hope you bring to the circle is your gift and it goes out to our whole community and touches lives you’ll never hear about. Give yourself credit for keeping alive this part of you that still believes in goodness.

As you give and receive gifts this year, remember this gift that you bring to the world. Think of our little community and send up a prayer for it. Keep believing.