Burning Times

Connection renders all joy and suffering universal.
— Mary Petiet

Friends, there is a lot of heartbreak and tragedy going around. Our country is on fire politically, suffering a public health epidemic from gun violence in it's many manifestations, and staggering from recent natural disasters.

Most recently, here in our community, a 14 year old Native American boy was shot dead by police. I am not looking to start a debate about gun control (one way or the other) or anything else, but just witnessing that at times (much of the time) the world can feel incredibly heavy and the grief and frustration and questions can become overwhelming.

How do we start to turn these things around? How do we talk to our children about these kinds of events and help them feel safe in the world? How do we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe?

How do we strike some kind of healthy life balance— between self care and well-being, and working to be agents of constructive change— in the midst of what my friend and colleague, Tracie Nichols, calls "burning times?"

I have some thoughts and opinions as we all do, but I don't have answers— mostly more questions.


So I'm trying to live the questions.


snowy trail

And take some inspiration and solace where I can find it. For me, that often means taking my grief out into the woods or onto the water to find some peace in natural spaces.

And sometimes art, music, poetry can support, soothe, and strengthen us in a way that logical thought or questioning cannot.

It enables us to step back into the fray lovingly, constructively, effectively.


So I thought I'd share this poem:


there is
breaking news
and twitter

and there is
an achingly blue sky
with burnished orange
oak leaves singing
their beauty in

there is
heavy commentary
and social
posts encouraging

and there is
air so brilliant
and crisp
it could snap
between your chilly

there is
pain and heartbreak
in more abundance
than any soul
should ever

and there is
a sea of compassion
and a forest of hands
reaching out to

reaching out
to lift up
souls bearing
the unbearable

there is

© 2017 Tracie Nichols
(Check out her post about "guidelines for burning times...")


community fire

How do you nurture yourself, your loved ones, your community at these times?


Love and peace and grit to all of you.


Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
— Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Simplify and revitalize with small doses of natural beauty, calm, soul food, simple strategies for reclaiming your health and getting back to what matters most— delivered to your inbox.