Grateful for community

This morning at church, I was reminded of the embracing and uplifting power of community.

A friend I hadn’t seen in weeks, to the point that I was concerned about his well being, was there.  Seeing him, ebullient as ever, cheered me.

A couple who had also been absent for several weeks was back. Their 18-month-old daughter had adopted a mid-morning nap time that, as any parent will testify, was more sacred than coming to church.

During the sharing of joys and concerns, a woman spoke of the civil union which enabled her partner to adopt their children. The children now have two legal parents, although they probably don’t notice any change at home and won’t realize the significance for years.

Another member told of a sudden seizure, the cause of which is still being diagnosed. Her fear at the unknown was palpable, yet assuaged somewhat by sharing her experience with the congregation.

Our lives are most fulfilled when they are intertwined in community, a community that celebrates our joys and shares our troubles, a community that encourages us to be our best and accepts our weaknesses.

In the words of Starhawk, American author and a voice for earth-based spirituality,

We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time.


Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power.

Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.

Quotation courtesy of Wisdom Quotes
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Mountain view

Flat Irons outside of Boulder

Traveling on business isn’t as glamorous and fun as often imagined. Crowded airports and planes, up early and late, hurry and wait, delays, jet lag, traffic, getting lost, missed or hurried meals, and boring meetings are the routine.

Now that I’ve convinced you of the negatives, I’ll hasten to add that there are a few moments in most every trip when I resonate with the awe of traveling: the miracle of flight, an occasional spectacular view from the plane, seeing a place where I’ve never been, meeting people and learning a bit about their lives and the universality of life.

This week I had a meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The night before, I arrived well after dark in a rental car from the Denver airport. The next morning I awoke fairly early, still on eastern time, and had the opportunity to watch the day develop. While making my ritual trip to Starbucks, I was able to capture this photo of the Flatirons, the mountains that define the geographic persona of Boulder.

Who knows when — even if — I will return to Boulder. So having a few hours to be in the presence of these mountains was a real gift.

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Tears of hope

2008 electionMy eyes have welled with tears many times during the past two days:

  • Voting yesterday morning and sensing the spirit of democracy among the crowd;
  • Feeling a growing connection as the day progressed and I followed the accounts of citizens exercising their sacred right to vote;
  • Watching the returns come in last night;
  • Awakening to find that the nation had elected our first black president;
  • Recalling the quote from Jonathan Alter that the first 16 U.S. Presidents could have owned Barack Obama as property;
  • Remembering what I was doing when I heard that Martin Luther King, Junior was shot;
  • Listening to the gracious concession speech by John McCain;
  • Hearing Barack Obama speak before 100,000 gathered in Grant Park;
  • Transported back to the Lincoln Memorial, while hearing NPR’s story of Washingtonians stopping there to reflect upon the historic significance of this election;
  • Seeing my children blind to the color of Barack Obama’s skin;
  • Grateful that America responded to its hopes and not its fears;
  • Really proud — for the first time in recent years — for my country.
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