566 open the door and be aware of the dewdrops, the moon, the birds, an acorn dropping at your feet
Day 566 Saturday, October 2, 2021
Open the door and also be aware of the dewdrops, the moon, the birds, the falling leaves — the acorn that drops at your feet.
The Birds are Still Singing
Politically, this has been a very painful week for me, and I expect for you. I feel powerless to influence the destructive games at play in Washington, D.C. and other places. And again, I suspect you feel the same way. Are we, as some columnists suggest, entering into a plutocracy of wealth and greed? I don’t know.
What I do know is I live in a well-off, semi-liberal, county where, nonetheless, 1 out of 6 people go to bed hungry. That is 78,000 people of whom 34,000 are children, 11,300 are seniors, 13,500 are working families. Wherever you live the situation is probably much the same. It is not right. So, on Friday I will be in our food pantry, trying to help, in a small way, those who are lending a hand.
Monday is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) who urged people to walk the Gospel way by living without material attachments and loving other people. What was this guy? Some kind of socialist?! Well, he liked animals. Some affluent Churches celebrate the day of St. Francis by bringing in exotic pets to be blessed. A few, not so affluent, Churches bring in poor people to be fed.
OK, you get the drift. I was not in a very smiley place as the week progressed, and then one of those birds Francis loved dropped an acorn in front of me! Literally out of the blue an acorn fell in front of me as I was walking to the place where I write. Somewhat stunned, I was staring at it when a California Jay swooped down, picked it up, and flew away. In the quote above, Tagore talks about missing the dewdrops outside his door. For me it was an acorn. What are you missing outside of your door?
Never is it more important to be mindful of those dewdrops than when our society or our personal lives are in chaos. It is sometimes hard to believe but ideological extremism, be it left or right, never endures. The dewdrops do.
22 year-old university student Sophie Scholl was beheaded in 1943 for non-violent opposition to Nazi totalitarianism, especially persecution of the Jews and euthanasia programs of the disabled. She wrote once;
"Even when you’re sure everything is falling to pieces, the moon is always right back in its usual place the next evening; the birds are still singing the next day as sweetly and eagerly as ever. And whether or not their singing is of any use, they never give that a thought."
There are some incredibly disappointing things happening on this planet these days. But this is also one of the most beautiful months of the year. It is very important to open the door and also be aware of the dewdrops, the moon, the birds, the falling leaves — the acorn that drops at your feet.
- Brother Toby