I am one who believes in the pause. I easily overwhelm. I appreciate the Winter Feast of the Soul because it invites forty days of meditation, days where I know others around the world are also meditating. I seem to walk more lightly on the ground and I make an attempt to censor the "news."
That said, I was mind-boggled by the Supreme Court decision this week giving corporations even more power to influence elections and political decisions. Some say they already have the power, so what's the difference, but I think there is indeed a difference when that kind of influence and control is legally sanctified at the highest level.
After we united around Barack Obama and his message of hope, I think some of us, I speak for myself, thought, okay, my job is done, and I'm returning to my place of serenity. My taxes support the politicians, pay their salary and I deserve a break. The government can work on its own.
Years ago, there was intense controversy where I live about the use of the trails. Mountain bikes had become popular and the hikers and the horse people did not like them at all. Everyone wanted their own trail. At the time I was a hiker and a mountain biker so I attended many meetings trying to find a way to satisfy all. What most astonished me though was listening to those who wanted to "commune with nature" and who felt the mountain bikers threatened that. I love nature and I am aware that it, like life, has many sides. You need to keep your eyes open when you are wandering outside. It's great to look at birds and it is helpful to know the three leaves of poison oak and the rattle of a snake.
We have opened up our parks to the handicapped and I support that, but I think we also need to stay aware that nature is not sitting still. We, in CA, are certainly aware of that. Unfortunately, so are the people of Haiti, and perhaps all of us are currently very awake as to how the earth shifts. My point though is that though I love the pause, and I try to cultivate it with each breath, breathe in, pause, breathe out, pause, I am beginning to see that we need to stay aware and awake whether we are walking in nature or observing what our government is up to.
If we want a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people", we need to recognize we are the people and be vocal and involved.
On another note, I just learned that the Girl Scouts are taking cookie orders. I've now ordered my chocolate mints. I had great fun in Brownies and the Girl Scouts and buying a few cookies seems an easy way to support.
Lincoln's Gettysburg address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.