Wednesday, August 12, 2009
CLOSE TO THE EARTH: DALE ANDREWS
(Dale is so wise! This is what he wrote today and I share it with you. I will highlight what resounded with me the most.)
You have been here before. The economy is squeezing a certain number of people out of their jobs. You notice more people moving. Houses are for sale that you would not suspect would ever go on the market. There is no fanfare. It all happens rather quietly.
Every so often, I see a new face at the nursing home - someone I once noticed downtown. That happens rather quietly too. Once in a while you hear about a baby being born. Sometimes you see a house with balloons attached to the mailbox announcing the new member of a family.
The really important things of life have quiet little ceremonies or none at all. No one takes to the streets to announce the baptism of a person. Spiritual changes in direction (repentance) seldom make for a headline. There is a subtle style to life close to the earth.
Life is lived within a power that no government can control. It happens where there is no electricity or running water. For as vulnerable as "primitive" life may be, it is also robust enough to produce wise old men and women far from city lights. Some of the happiest people in the world live in small towns and villages in Siberia, Mongolia, Indonesia, and on remote islands of the South Pacific.
One of the greatest illusions in the world is that people have to live like we do to be happy. A closer look in the socio-economic mirror may reveal exactly the opposite. Human life is not valued by most of our measures. In fact, we might want to drop all of our highbrow measures and get down to the essence of life: breathing and eating.
Breathe and eat. Embrace whatever this is we call life. It has more value than any of the trinkets we might attach to it or covet. Strip away the veneers. We are simply here. In that alone there is enough to celebrate for as long as we exist.