The recent crash of the airplane into the Hudson and the miraculous survival of all people aboard brings to mind, geese. Reports indicate that a flock of geese was involved in the crash, sucked into the jet engines that then failed. I get “goose bumps” thinking of how wonderful that the people lived through this, with incredible acts of courage and shared compassion.
The birds though didn’t live through it. They, our brothers and sisters, are among millions of birds each year that lose their lives in the U.S. to cell phone towers, buildings, windows, feral cats, pesticide use, habitat destruction, etc. Well the list just goes on and on.
I wonder how it is that you find a way to live in world of such harsh contrasts with the paradox that each moment can fill us with joy and celebration as well as pain and loss. Perhaps the only way that we can truly know that we belong in the family of things is to know our center and our being is of this earth, and that we are never “wrong” and that what ever happens is “never wrong.” May we find a way to hear the geese, hear the jet engines, hear the cries of fear and terror, read the headlines of tragedy and beauty with equanimity that judges ourselves as life and love flowing through us, engaging with what is so that we may bring about a world without end. Amen.
You do not have to be good. Mary Oliver
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
You do not have to be good.