I cried yesterday. I sat on the ridge overlooking the river and tears spilled gently over my eyelids kissing my cheeks as softly as dew clinging to a leaf in early morning light.
I cried for the children who will go hungry tonight. For the boys who will hoist guns as long as their bodies and kill in the name of a peace they have never known. And for the little girls whose childhood’s are lost to faceless men who believe the only way to know love is to rape it from another.
I cried for mothers who weep at the gravesites of their loved ones lost to war and famine and disease and for the father’s who desperately want to teach their sons to grow into men, and do not know the way to quiet the fear within their hearts that their sons too shall never find their way to peace.
I cried for this world, this planet upon which we each rely for our existence, this planet we take for granted and treat with such disdain.
And I cried for humanity, our humanity, our human kind lost beneath our history of destroying one another in the name of God, Allah, Yaweh, Satnam, All Powerful, Vishnu, and 70 x 70 names I do not know but hear whispered upon the cries of millions of others dying to defend their right to worship at the altar of their choosing.
These were needed tears. Gentle. Cleansing. Healing. They were the words my heart could not speak out loud.
And when the tears were shed, when they had run their course, compassion flowed freely like the river winding its way through the valley bottom below, each passing drop changing the course of the one before.
And in their passing, I was left alone upon the hillside, sitting in the sun, cherishing the beauty of the day, savouring the gentle autumn breeze caressing my skin, the sound of the grasses whispering, the geese honking their plaintive lament as they journeyed south.
There is darkness in this world.
And there is light.
It is in the darkness the light shines brightest.
Yet, I want not to see the darkness. I want not to know its thrall, to feel its drag pulling me under. I want to steer clear of the darkness and still I know, it is only through acknowledging its presence that I will be free to shine my light fearlessly. It is only through letting go of fear of its nature I will be free to stand fearlessly in mine.
I cannot rid this planet of war and pain and sickness and hunger. I cannot heal the children of the world. I cannot silence the guns.
I can create beauty in my world. I can create peace around me by letting go of my fear that to witness the darkness is to let go of the light.
It is when I hold onto light for fear it will go out that darkness takes hold.
I cried yesterday. And I will cry again today. And in my tears, I find myself flowing in Love and compassion, holding onto nothing than the truth of who I am and all that is possible when I let go of fearing I cannot change the world.
If not me, who? If not now, when?
We are each capable of changing our worlds, of creating peace where there is discord, healing where there is pain. We are each capable of putting down our guns and holding out our arms in love, peace and forgiveness.
If not us, who? If not now, when?