Winter’s returned for a quick blast of chill. The lawn, which was quickly beginning to show its roots, is once again blanketed in the white fluffy stuff.
Where ever I go, the conversation inevitably returns to ‘the weather’. Grumbles. Complaints. Groans of dismay. I mean seriously, yesterday was the first day of spring and this is what the weather gave us?
This too shall melt.
This too shall pass.
Time will flow onward. Seasons will shift. The earth will continue to travel its orbit around the sun and the moon and planets will continue to hold their space in the universe.
These are the things I count on. These are the things I know.
It is perhaps why I hold fast to my belief in Love and its power to heal all, shift all, move all.
There are so many things in this world I can’t count on or at least predict with any degree of certainty.
Weather will always happen. But I don’t know what it will be with any guarantee one day to the next — at least, not living here in Alberta at the foot of the Rockies where our favourite saying is, “Don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes.”
We can’t count on people living forever. Because we don’t.
We can’t count on buildings standing forever. Because they don’t.
We can’t really count on mountains standing forever either because if you look at the totality of our planet’s formation, plates have shifted, glaciers have advanced and melted, seas have receded and rivers have carved new paths.
What hasn’t changed, what cannot change is the power of Love to create, to evolve, to be present.
And then, I laugh at myself as I write that because if I look way, way back, back to the time of the Neanderthals, do I really know if Love was all around?
And that’s the thing. I have to, no make that, want to believe it was. It is my belief and I want to believe in something I know I can count on. In that awareness, I get to choose what I believe.
And I believe, Love is the answer.
Yesterday, while working with a group of individuals with lived experience of homelessness, one of the participants spoke of their battle with addictions. Their battle with cancer. Their battle to claim their heritage, their birthright, their voice, their humanity.
They shared how as an Aboriginal, it was their responsibility to come to the sweat lodge, to pray, to heal. “If we are to change the 28% of the homeless population who are First Nations and make it zero, we must all come to the sweat lodge. We must all pray. We must all heal.”
I was thinking of them this morning as I looked out the window and saw all the snow that fell overnight.
They are sleeping rough. It’s easier to stay clean and sober. Easier to avoid the negative distractions that a shelter, along with the care provided, also offers. When so many desperate people come together, desperate things can happen. “I may not be living right,” they said. “But I am walking right.”
In walking right, there are some things they shared the things they’d learned, the things that can always be counted on.
The change of heart that comes through forgiveness.
The gift of peace that comes with gratitude.
The healing of shame that comes through self-love.
“I didn’t like who I was when I was homeless,” one of the participants, also First Nations, said yesterday. “And because I didn’t like who I was, I kept trying to drown who I was.”
Today, clean and sober, studying at the University, they have a purpose, a drive, a desire to give back, to make a difference, to teach what they have learned so others can find their own way to healing. They are walking right.
The world has not treated these individuals kindly. They were not given an EASY button to press to make it all better.
They have struggled and hurt and fallen back. They have gotten up and been beaten down, again and again.
And still, they move forward. They push through. They struggle onward. And they shine.
Because no matter what, I believe the human spirit desires to be free of what hurts us, to be released from what holds us back, to be clear of the past.
I believe that Love motivates only goodness. Love creates only better. And they are living testaments of the power of Love to create change, to heal.
As I listened to the conversation yesterday I felt the peace and joy of knowing that what I count on was visible in that room. It was there within every breath. Every word. Every action. Because in their desire to walk right, Love can always be count on to show them the path to walking right.
It is the only answer I count on to walk right.