Flames of Love

October 10, 2017

Like many of us living north of San Francisco, I woke up at 2 a.m. Monday morning to the eerie sound of dry winds rattling the trees and the quiet smell of smoke. Come daylight the news was pouring in: thousands of people in neighboring Sonoma and Napa counties evacuated, homes and businesses burned down, friends escaping homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs and finding out later everything they owned in this world was destroyed. One week after the massacre in Vegas, in a month of hurricanes and earthquakes, it has been for many of us in the United States and abroad a wee

k of tragedy, in a month of tragedy, in a particularly stressful and disheartening year.  Mother Earth and Human Nature -both screaming out for our attention- have shown their destructive sides. But with destruction come rebirth and hope.

Rumi says, “The way of love is not a subtle argument. The door there is devastation. Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they’re given wings.”

While it can seem like dark times, truth is that calamity is nothing new to this planet. War and brutality happens.  Political power maneuvering happens. People can be both cruel and selfish and unimaginably loving and compassionate. And the world is now our village, where we have access to more information -and misinformation- than ever before.  It is sometimes hard to turn it all off and stay focused on your well-being, on your relationships, and keying into the subtle indicators of

your body that let you know what most needs loving attention. We cannot always control what goes on in the world and what happens around us and to us. We can only control our responses.

As we feel concern for loved ones and grieve for the plight of fellow humans near and far, let these calamities serve as reminders that we are all in this crazy, sometimes confounding, and always precious human experience together. Strive to bring out the best in one another. Give others -and yourself- the benefit of the doubt that we are all doing our best with the tools we have (however flawed they may be).  Remember to hug, and laugh, and dance.  When processing trauma, whether brought on by a major life event or the building up of minor traumas of stress and disconnection brought on by our touch-starved, media saturat

ed modern lifestyle, human contact is paramount. Remember to fan the flames of love. They, too, can spread like wildfire.