It Takes a Village…

 In Reflections

“Walking among them, touching them, listening to their creak and sway, I could feel their connectedness. Aboveground, aspen grow as individual trees, but belowground they’re enlivened by one interconnected set of roots. They are the most expansive growth of trees to share a common root system. This means they are one living organism and one living community—at the same time!

This is a powerful metaphor for how inextricably knit the life of the individual is with the life of community.” —Mark Nepo, More Together Than Alone

On this Giving Tuesday, I am reminded of how many people it takes to co-create this beloved contemplative community.

In his book More Together Than Alone, Mark Nepo uses a story about how an  aspen grove communicates to share how important community is to getting through challenges and thriving in life.

Nepo states: “Shared roots live longer, a lesson for us all.” He goes on to point out: “This is the aspen wisdom we need. We need aspen sensitivity, aspen memory, and aspen compassion.” Then, Nepo asks how can we keep this wisdom alive “when the days are ordinary and we seem so far away from each other?”

I believe Eremos and our gentle invitation again and again to a more contemplative life helps us remember this aspen wisdom. As we become more present to the Great Mystery found within and around us in moments of quiet contemplation, we breathe a little bit easier and open our hearts just a little bit more to compassion and connection for and with one another.

Thank you for choosing to be part of this village we call Eremos and for all the ways seen and unseen your attentiveness to this community helps us uplift each other and the world.

May you be blessed by small acts of kindness and communication this week to remind you of the gift of community. And may you find ways to pass on these gifts to others.

Power for Change

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
—Margaret J. Wheatley

They Count More

“I used to be a classic workaholic, and after seeing how little work and career really mean when you reach the end of your life, I put a new emphasis on things I believe count more. These things include: family, friends, being part of a community, and appreciating the little joys of the average day.”
– Mitch Albom

What If…?

By Kai Siedenburg

What if the leaves,
stirred to singing
by the breeze,
sing with even more joy
when they notice
you are listening?

What if the small white flower
quivers with delight
when you notice
her tiny
yet honorable
to the beauty
of this world?

And what if
that brief moment
is all she needs
to know that her life
is worth living,
all her efforts
not in vain?

What if the trees
feel the depth
of your pain,
and are quietly
reaching toward you,
offering solace
with everything
they have to give?

What if the whales
diving into the deep blue
can feel your love
for them,
even across all that
open ocean?

What if the water,
weary from
her endless journey,
is replenished by
your gratitude,
which gives her
the strength
to keep going?

What if the Earth
longs to feel
the caress
of your naked feet
on her warm, brown skin?

And what if
the granite mountain,
no matter how remote
and immovable
he may seem,
feels a quiet shiver of joy
when you are touched
by his majestic beauty?

What if…?

Published in Poems of Earth and Spirit: 70 Poems and 40 Practices to Deepen Your Connection with Nature

We give thanks to Kai for so generously sharing her poetry with us over the past few years (and to Leslie Wagner for introducing us to her). And we give thanks to each and every board member, volunteer, facilitator, and person who helps us awaken our contemplative spirit and dream into a better world.

What if 2022 will close out better than you can imagine and 2023 will bring possibilities you can only dream of right now? What if?

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