Letter From the Publisher
The December issue is normally the time when we crank up the level of the“feel-good” sentiment, with nostalgic remembrances of crisp snowy days accompanied with rich and steaming hot cocoa, precious time spent with friends and family and a spirit of generosity that seems to shine a bit brighter in this season of giving.
I have to be honest with you all, dear friends, and let you know that mustering that up now, in these post-election days, has been a challenge. Regardless of how you perceive the outcome of the election, we, as a nation, are bruised, battered and divided. As I write this, students throughout the region are walking out of classes to protest perceived bigotry that they are feeling in our heated rhetoric. A local church was vandalized with a racist slogan.
When our national editorial staff for Natural Awakenings maps out our themes for each month, the process is done up to a year in advance. Perhaps it is ironic (or perhaps not) that the theme for this month is “Loving Large” and shares how “a sense of universal connectivity is found in all things.”
I can’t think of a time in history, except for the late 1960s in the heat of the Vietnam War and the racial strife following the enactment of important civil rights legislation, when we were less-connected as a nation. I am intentional in my usage of the word “nation”. When I was in graduate school, I took a semester-long class on the concept of “nationhood” and how it means more than the physically bounded, geographic space we call our country. To mean that we are a nation suggests that we share a common ideal about our past and our future. Yet here we are, in the heat of fray, with strategies forming on all sides on to plot out the next steps for their future success.
I am without words and when, in the past, my own thoughts have failed me, I turn to those who can voice my deepest feelings. So today—and every day—I need to be reminded of the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Even if you are not the praying type, I would encourage you to let these words seep deep into your soul and then let them reverberate through your life.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
Certainly, as the sun rises each morning and sets each evening, our nation will figure out the way ahead—of that I have no doubt. Hopefully this period of disquiet, which seems to have opened old wounds and uncovered painful truths about our collective soul, will generate a time for true reflection and dialogue, where we can hear and understand fully the hurts of those with whom we share this nation.
Wishing you peace, joy and love in the days and months to come.