Chop wood, carry water

Here we are. Another day, another sunrise, another president.

Life barrels forward. On our little homestead, the animals don't care about national elections. They want their food and water and love. When one is a parent, life goes on. Babies and small children don't care about the headlines, they need food and water and love.  Despite my brain's desire to take every spare moment and read all the articles and attend all the events and move forward with the hard work of protecting this planet and the life on it so that there will be future elections, my body is tugged in a very real way into the very direct action of caring for the life in front of me. It is very humbling. And very grounding.

I have always been deeply inspired by Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement. A quote of hers, came to me in the barn this morning. My mind has been trying to work out how to move ahead with the somewhat enormous endeavor of bringing about a just and kind world. A world where people and planet come before profit. Where inclusiveness is not partisan, it is human and good and right. All in a time when it doesn't seem like people are really hearing each other all that often. Specifically and importantly, the voices of those who have been silenced for so long.  But even those who may have had different lawn signs than we did. We hear ourselves and our echo chambers, but do we hear each other?  Those with whom we disagree? Maybe we have more common ground than we realize.  And given the tasks ahead, it sure seems like we could use more companions on the journey.
“The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them.” 
― Dorothy Day, All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day
I recognize that speaking of love can often feel soft and cute and can perhaps be dismissed. Especially in times that are in need of action and response to an unjust system or when laws of the land no longer are considering all of the people and instead only favor some of the people. I listened to a talk given by Martin Luther King, Jr. recently and I will let his eloquent and articulate words speak for me here,
" is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system." - November 17th, 1957
Another day, another sunrise, another call to action. Some of us are called to big, public actions. Some to smaller, private ones. The daily tasks of our lives go on. Maybe each day we can bring a deeper presence and awareness to even those simple tasks. So that when it is time to act - we are opening our hearts to love - even loving the 'other'.

"Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment chop wood, carry water." - Zen Proverb 


  1. You are a prime example of just that Meg. You do such a good job with your family, home , animals and fighting for all that is right. You are one who doesn't talk the walk the walk.. MY God continue to bless you, Rob and my beautiful Grandchildren.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts