Ruin and treasure – a repost in honor of Ukraine

Wherever there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure. RUMI

My heart breaks as I watch whole countries crumble in the wake of hatred, unimaginable violence and destruction. I do not understand and feel small as I try to think about solutions.

Cradling loaves of bread, this man weeps. Tears could be for all that has been lost, or tears that could be in gratitude for the bread he holds. Bread – he may be unable to provide as he once did – before his world became the battleground of dangerous egos and heartless acts. In this picture, we can only see a small bit of what his loss may include. A bombed-out building – was it home, his children’s school, the hospital which had been caring for his loved ones? Whatever this building had been, its shelter is only a memory now.

And so we meet a balance of opposites – ruins and treasure. Unable to hold back the grief rising from his heart, this man walks ahead with food for the journey. He carries a treasure – simple yet basic. The ruins surrounding him are overwhelming. Captured in this picture is an image of what was and the movement toward what will be.

I have always believed that phoenixes rise from ashes, whatever those ashes may be. Believing this requires that I, too, hold a balance of opposites. It is impossible to reach out to thousands of displaced and homeless people. I am reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa – “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Today I toss a stone across the waters. With this man’s picture before me,  I offer prayers for all people displaced by war as they search for peace and safety and strive to reconstruct home. 

Quote: Rumi
Image: unknown

Treasure deeply…

When we embrace the poignancy and vulnerability that come with gratefulness, we’re reminded that time is limited and experiences are fleeting, so we had better treasure deeply what we have now and live more fully into what we know really matters.

Quote: Kristi Nelson

Photo: Valeria


found in

All there Is…

This moment is all there Is.
~ Rumi ~

I spent this past weekend with family. Celebrating my sister’s birthday, we gathered to give thanks for her graceful presence in our lives and enjoy time with one another. Looking at her sons I was taken with how fast they had grown into young men. The words are said by so many people – ‘my how time flies.’ Yet as I sat and tried to take in all the joy of that afternoon, I realized that time had not flown as much as it had naturally moved forward whether we were ready or not. Each person in that room had been together – one way or another – from the cry of the first baby (there were two generations of children present). The memories collected in that space created a whole picture of who we had been and who we are today. Even… to include those who could not be there — my brother and his family live on the West Coast — and yet they were among us in the laughter and love that was shared.

This moment is all there Is.

How many times have we longed for a moment to last longer? Wished for the hands on the clock to slow, allowing for more time to savor the details of what we are experiencing. But time does not work that way. It moves ahead as naturally as our beating hearts. In this hurried world, we forget the importance of focusing on the ‘now’. Looking back there can be a sense of loss. Time has come and gone, the occasions pass to remain with us as a memory.

It is almost old news to stress the importance of treasuring details in life. People have heard it. Some people never let go of painful moments turning to hours to days to a life-time. These events can become heavy burdens weakening one’s strength and spirit. Likewise rushing through time or anticipating its passing before the fact, truly hampers one’s ability to appreciate the gift of ‘now’.

Last weekend was a great celebration! Since then – one nephew is now wearing new braces on his teeth and another has turned 20 – both important moments. Time moves on and memories become treasures.

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