Words of Joy – January 2016

How could we tire of hope?
—so much is in bud.

How can desire fail?
—we have only begun

to imagine justice and mercy,
only begun to envision

how it might be
to live as siblings with beast and flower,
not as oppressors…

there is too much broken
that must be mended,

We have only begun to know
the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must
complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.
–From”Beginners” by Denise Levertov

It has been an especially challenging year in these difficult times in our history. We have seen terrorism continue, this year even in our own state. We hear shrill overreactions almost daily, aimed, in ignorance and prejudice, at all Muslims. Our hearts ache to hear of continuing episodes of black lives lost through violence, sometimes shockingly due to the actions of those who are sworn to protect lives. The earth’s climate continues its warming trend, due to our addiction to fossil fuels and other unsustainable practices.

But it is a New Year, and as Denise Levertov’s poem suggests, there is “so much in bud.” There are many efforts to counter the forces of violence and injustice, greed and negligence, ignorance, negativity, cynicism and resignation. We must never “tire of hope.” Instead, let us be among those who hold up hope, stand up for those in need of our action, and join in the “communion of struggle.”  So much is at risk, yet many thousands of buds are beginning to unfold.

May the promise of a New Year bring hope and light, and be a reminder that we can always be beginners. As Thomas Paine once said, “We have it within our power to begin the world over again.”

May your New Year be filled with hope and blessing.   Joy