Not in Kansas Anymore

Remember Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, clutching her dog, Toto, and gazing around at her strange new world?

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” she said.  

In the midst of a pandemic, many of us have turned into Dorothy, looking around at strangeness heaped upon strangeness and longing for the familiar. I suspect that some of us have already gone looking for the Wizard of Oz, or anyone who speaks with the authority of an expert; anyone who can promise us a return to normality. It is best, I think, to follow hopeful ideas and words that might build us up to be more compassionate. Watch out for the prophets of doom, though, for they are purveyors of fear and superstition, who might divide community from community, or even nation from nation.

In the absence of the yellow brick road, let’s stick to a pathway that offers hope and solidarity.

I have hinted a few times that our ideal companions on the journey are young people. Don’t you find it heartening that so many children and teenagers are both knowledgable and caring about justice? They are finding new ways to reach across human differences. Many of them are concerned about mending creation. To me, what is crucial is that they are generating new ways to be spiritual, with or without religion.

So, it is for all young people, that I am posting a set of poems which raise awareness of the need to have compassion for the planet and all its inhabitants. You will find these under FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. I hope the poems also appeal to the AGELESS!

when you meditate
invite a child to sit with you
just for 5 minutes
sit in peace together
let them hold some small,  beautiful object
listen together to music
encourage them to be still and count their breathing
in for one
out for two
hold for three
then, when their exhuberance 
makes it impossible for them to be still a moment longer
come back with them into the room.


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