Abundance is rooted in community, not individualism. Abundance is what is before our eyes, but we cannot see when we are blinded by greed. –Terry Tempest Williams
I used this quote in a newsletter article I wrote almost a year ago. As a community, we were focused on reverence for one another, listening to one another’s experiences, hopes, and dreams. Through this understanding, we knew we could open ourselves up to the “bigness of life” (something Prof. Howard Kerner said in the sermon he delivered to us a year ago) and the spectrum of possibilities, finding an abundance of love through our connections and togetherness.
When I close my eyes and allow myself to travel back in time to last year, I can start to feel it– the Spirit of Life as it moved within and between and amongst us. It was vibrant. I can recall the smiles and the laughter, the buzz of voices and the energy of our bodies being together, the comfort of being in our sanctuary, and the excitement of what was possible for our future. There certainly was an abundance of joy, rooted in the ways we were doing community, and I sense that gratitude was larger than greed.
At this time, it feels good, and right, to reflect on who we were a year ago. For the past 7 months, though, it’s been difficult for me to go there. I’ve been struggling with the loss of the way we were and the difficulty of not knowing what the future holds. We still don’t know how much of our past ways of being together will be brought back to life. But today, in this moment and for the foreseeable future, I am going to shed the sadness and focus on the joy. I am beyond grateful for the community as it was and my hope is that focusing on that joy will help to harness it and bring it back to the present, and the future. Furthermore, I find joy in knowing that when I look back, I am looking at a community that was strong, resilient, and deeply connected. It is only because of that that we still exist in this pandemic time.
This Saturday, at the Ice Cream Socially Distanced party, we will restart this physical togetherness. It’ll surely be different as we negotiate best practices for the health and well-being of all. We are in the midst of culture change and no one has the “right” answers or any sure way of moving forward. But we’ll find the way, joyfully, because we’ll be there together again, on the road to the future and the spectrum of possibilities that exist for us. Will you be there with me, calling the Spirit of Life and Love back to our physical buildings and grounds? Let us create an abundance of new memories!