Words: In not letting racism overshadow the glory of spring  

Spring 2014Call me corny. It’s a beautiful morning, cool and brilliant with sun. I’ve been enjoying the mornings and wondering how it is that I still insist on believing in love.

But, there are a couple of rigid voices outside and inside my head ranting and raving about the state of race relationships in America.

Given the history of our country’s beginnings, can there be any surprise that we are both dysfunctional and symbiotic? Race is the warp and weft of the fabric.

I live with racism every day. So do you. Overt or subtle, we either give or receive pain from racist perceptions about each other moment by moment. White about black. Black about white. Black about black. White about white. Red about black. Black about red. On and on and on. Sometimes I think that racism and classicism, having existed for hundreds and thousands of years, will be, like the poor referred to in the Bible, with us always.

I still believe in love. That’s all I really think about. That’s all I care about. Human kindness. Thankfully, I also believe that most people contribute, in one way or another, to solutions towards a loving, peaceful, just, and equal society.  I believe that we make these contributions because we believe in actualizing the best of ourselves towards and with each other. I believe that our contributions are the rent we pay in exchange for the privilege of enjoying our time on this Earth.

We humans are complex and unpredictable.  As we go back and forth with legislation, it is horrifying to see freedoms given and freedoms taken away. It is infuriating to see people manipulate the system to keep others in poverty, without the right to vote, and in ignorance of the power to control their own lives.

I still believe in love. I still believe in human kindness.

I don’t do well in political debate. But I know someone will ask about race again. And I will answer. Because this is part of the discourse, and we are both dysfunctional and symbiotic.

Now about this exquisite Spring.

I have been waiting through this long, bitter winter for the soft green, succulent rebirth of the earth. I can go outside now. And I am not about to let politics or criticism steal my opportunity to wrap my soul in the joy of seeing woodpeckers, hawks, finches, geese, and robins fly; deer chase each other; fox lurk; and, yes, people explore the nature trail—that includes the guy that thought nobody could see him relieving himself among the trees.

Spring is not just the harbinger of rebirth; spring is the majesty of magic. Year after year, spring and the holy days — today is Palm Sunday— anchor me in miracles. There was my childhood Easter miracle of shiny new black patent leather shoes, white ankle socks, a new dress, gloves, and, of course, a hat. My sister and I paraded. My brothers, in their bow ties and neat little jackets were resplendent. Spring defied the reality of “lack” by bringing us together in new clothes with a larger community that believed in the power of rebirth— a miracle, considering what we lived under during those times, and proof that life is magic.

So, these days I’m awakened at six with birdsong and light. I have accepted the reality that injustice is a part of living. I acknowledge the fact that contribution to transformation, celebration of the glory of spring, and expression of gratitude for the gift of spiritual rebirth is the rent I pay for enjoying Earth.

Happy Holy Days, whatever your faith. And stay posted for a new photo in the coming months!

One response to “Words: In not letting racism overshadow the glory of spring  

  1. Melinda Zipin

    I love this. I love that you can face ugliness, inside and out, and still hold beauty, inside and out, with reverence and joy.

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