Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Little Boy, a Great Man, The Innocence and Hope of a Nation. and The Tipping Point...

My grandson, 4 1/2 year old Lucas, watching
President Obama taking the oath of office.

Watching the inauguration day festivities and ceremonies all morning, leading up to the swearing in and beyond, I was so deeply moved and in tears that it seemed nothing could have touched me more that day, and for some time to come. It will remain one of the greatest days of my life, and the first time I remember, in my 54 years, being so excited about a President, so full of hope, awe, and dreams, and sitting in wonder at the changing of the world as we live through the times ahead with this great man at the helm.

My relationship with the days this week, days of grandeur, glory, and celebration in every corner of the nation, took a deeper turn when my daughter sent me 2 pictures of my precious grandson, Lucas, on that great day. The first one I put on my other blog, The Maitri Ministry, of little Lucas seeing his first snow ever, and the snowman he and his daddy built. The family called him Snowbama and it is an adorable picture. But when Rachel sent me the above picture today, I got tears in my eyes. My tiny grandchild starting out his life with Barack Obama as president means that he will come up in a whole new world than the one our generation, and the ones before us, knew. A nation that, I believe, while change dramatically in the years ahead, and while I know it will take decades for the deeper changes to be made, I see a rising hope as peoples who have been oppressed, and those who have experienced a kind of privilege simply because of the color of their skin, come together on equal ground. Or so I pray. My little fair-haired grandson standing in front of our beautiful new president whose very smile lights up the nation is one of the greatest images of hope for our nation that I have felt in a very long time.

I like to think that this great nation is very like the old story of Stone Soup. A village of people were very poor and starving. One day a man went in the town square and put an enormous kettle on a fire and he put in all he had, a smooth, heavy stone. The villagers watched, and realized that, though they barely had anything, they did have something, even if only one potato, a handful of rice, a small piece of meat, one a carrot, another a turnip, and on and on and on until the whole village had come to put in what they had. In the end there was a glorious soup that fed the whole town, each one giving the very little bit that they had. If it takes a village to raise a child, it will take every single person in this nation to do what they must to build a safe, strong, proud and glorious land for the next generations. I can only imagine what a world it might be when my little Lucas is President Obama's age. It is, at this juncture, simply unimaginable. And yet when I see the eloquence, the intelligence, the composure, the love for his wife and children, his spirituality, and caring for a more equal world where we might live, I am so full I feel like a helium balloon ready to fly off and circle space from high above, watching down in awe at the movement of history as it marches forward.

When you are young, when you finally grow a little older and even have children of your own, you love them and want the best for them but you don't begin to know the significance of the choices you make, the ones that will change your life and that of those around you, not to mention people around the world. But at 54 with my first grandchild, I can tell you that it does not sink in until midlife when you look at your grandchildren and those of other grandparents, that the life we live is the gift that we give them, and they are the future of this nation. I believe that President Obama will make the changes that will ensure a better world for my children and their children and theirs on into the future. For yours too. For this, I pray.

My life has been changing so much so fast these last few years that I can barely put it into words. The last decade found me going through grief, pain, loss, confusion, a feeling of separation from the world as well as those closest to me, and then finally changes starting happening, so slowly at first that I barely noticed them, and then all of a sudden building steam, like The Little Engine That Could. Chugging up hill after hill saying, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." and then, finally, at the crest of the mountain comes that great whoosh when you know you can, and you start sailing along like you never knew you could before. Up and over the peak and flying down the other side. You have reached The Tipping Point. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book of this title many years back and it was a small but powerful book. The point of all of this for me is that not only have I reached a tipping point in my personal life, we are experiencing a tipping point in this country and around the world. The microcosm reflects the macrocosm and the reverse. Individual people's lives reflect the nation and the world as a whole, and the reverse. I believe, this week, with the swearing in of the 44th President of these United States, there was a tipping point of greater proportions than we can imagine. I bow deeply before the Buddha, hands pressed together in gassho, and say, reverently, Namaste. I raise my arms to the heavens and shout, with tears in my eyes, Praise The Lord!

Having been ordained at the beginning of this year, in this momentous time, I can barely believe how many changes are coming, quickly, and though I don't know where it will all end up, I know that I am on the right path, and I will keep following my inner guidance. I think many of us around the world are feeling the same sort of thing, in our own ways, differing circumstances but the same phenomena. And when President Obama was sworn in, I believed that he, and his time ahead, were reflecting what we are feeling, and the reverse.

And so right now I sit quietly in the near dark, surrounded by my animals, snoring pugs, sleeping birds, big Moe dog's long lean body stretching out across the floor as he sleeps silently, and Vincent the beta fish swimming peacefully around his tank, I revel in my solitude and silence and meditate on the picture of that great man and that little boy. They are both our future. It is in our hands. Tonight I hold hands, in my heart, with each and every one of you. We must move forward in grace. Each one, reach one. It is a whole new world...

With tender love, and a song of hope,

Reverend Maitri Libellule


Victoria SkyDancer said...

Reaching out to hold your hand as the Winds of Change blow across the land...
(oh hey, that rhymes! lol)

Blessings to all of us in these "Wondrous Strange" Times.

ray gratzner said...

Dear maitri,

I wish that the americans will experience a change to better living conditions. I fear, that the very rich, who contributed to the downfall of economy will profit form the hope of the simple people witout contributing themselves. A just society should be on the agenda as well

Patricia said...

I believe that certain people come along who are just what's needed to repair what's broken. I think the new president is one of those people.

Chameleon said...

I am still being moved time and time again as I stumble across other people's reactions to watching Obama take his oath of office. All those who believe it was the "youth vote" or the "black vote" that swept him into the presidency are missing one very potent demographic - people like you and me who grew up in earlier turbulent times and recognize in our new President a man who has the same dreams, desires and hopes we hold in our own hearts.

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