At the end of my mid-afternoon walk through the local bird reservation, something remarkable happened. As I headed back to the trail that would lead me back, a wave of sound emanated from the forest — a wave the could be heard but not seen. It was if a million birds were raising the banner of spring in unison. I turned to my daughter and asked — is it just me or do you hear that too?
Later in the evening, in the golden hour after sunset, I could still hear them. As I sat on the front porch, watching some brilliant colors of light up the fringe an unusually dark and wide storm front, they were “filling the sky with songs”. I don’t know the reason (yet) for their behavior, for their beautiful act of solidarity. I do know that it brought a tremendous sense of joy and peace to me. In their unified wave of action, it seemed like the birds were affirming the recent actions of solidarity being taken by many families, communities, cities, states, and countries.
If we are willing to listen to it and learn from it, Nature and her beings have many messages and lessons for us. Nature’s latest message seems to be that our long-term viability as a human race depends on our ability to be present to each other, even when we are physically apart. Nature’s latest lesson seems to be that our health – spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, financial – is only as good as the health of some of the most vulnerable among us.
We cannot ignore the wave of sound coming from the forest any more than we can ignore the voice of our elderly neighbors, the immune-compromise, or our healthcare workers. Every time we wash our hands, maintain adequate social distance, self-isolate if we feel sick, use our supplies frugally and buy only what we absolutely need, we are committing to an act of solidarity. Every human action of solidarity adds to the wave of sound of hope, caring and empathy that emanates from our human forest.
What acts of spiritual solidarity can we perform as individuals and as a community? Over the past week, I have had a few phone conversations, and many online chats with folks to listen, learn and discern. As a result, the first action is that we have started a new daily effort of getting together every evening (930pm EDT) and participate in a ‘group meditation’. I will be posting daily reminders in #SpiritChat, but no online ‘check-in’ is necessary. The intent is to ‘pause in place’, wherever we may be, and bring peace to our body, mind and heart, with our peace-evoking action of choice that works best for us. Let us hum (or listen) to our favorite prayer or mantra, read a piece of spiritual or inspirational literature or scripture, or anything else that we may consider to be a spiritual action of solidarity.
I am also (re)starting our Zoom (video chat) meetings on a weekly basis. Our first attempt will be on Wednesday, March 25 at Noon ET (link to join the meeting will be posted on FB and twitter). These meetings will serve as quick ‘check ins’ on each other, and allow us to find opportunities to help out where we can. By keeping them to 30 minutes or less, we may be able to do them more frequently, if necessary.
So, it’s your turn to step up and let us know – what other actions of solidarity can we perform at this time in our history? What resources can you offer or share that could be helpful? We have been gathering online and supporting each other through weekly sharing for a quite a while. We have the experience, the willingness and the wisdom to create a viable, dynamic, empathic, sustainable response to this great challenge that faces us.
Every one of our voices counts. Every action of solidarity counts. Let us speak and act in solidarity so that we can evoke a wave of spring for the benefit of all.
P.S. Join us for our weekly chat, Sunday March 22 at 9am ET / 8am CT / 6am PT / 630pm India – we will gather and share in an act of solidarity. Namaste, and with deep gratitude – @AjmaniK
A turtle in the middle of the walking path… teaching me to slow down… (March 20, 2020)