all of the selves we Have ever been
I awaken to brilliant sunshine in a clear blue sky. Arriving a day early, a cool March wind blows through my open window causing the blinds to sway. Birds land on a nearby tree branch and sing of their return. I step outside where the air smells fresh. Bright green buds peek out from the wet black earth. Throughout the long COVID winter, I longed for these signs of spring, but this morning, I am not interested.
My heart is in Ukraine.
Restless, I run some errands. Open-toed shoes line up in a store window. They have their marching orders: scream, “summer!” I stop in a book store, my usual remedy for whatever ails me. Fresh new books with smooth pages fill the shelves. A table of intriguing titles is readied for spring break and sandy beaches.
I wander the aisles, only to find my mood worsening.
History, geography, biography...shouldn’t we know better by now?
I feel the need to keep moving, but I can’t stop praying, begging, really. Please God. Please! Protect the people of Ukraine. I think of Abraham Lincoln who said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Insufficient? Yes, that is how I feel.
There is a breed of monster on the loose, and their numbers are growing. These beasts do not lurk in the dark. They prefer the limelight. You will recognize the fiends by their big heads, strong arms, and fragile egos. They thirst for power, feed on revenge, and vomit lies. They manufacture grievances and spread distrust through a gospel of hate. Adulation may calm them but only for a moment. Unable to be socialized, they frequently turn on the hands that feed them. They would rather burn the house down than learn to live within in it.
Will we all perish because of such a beast?
In 1624, the clergyman and poet, John Donne, wrote: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”
We hear the bell Ukraine, may God hear our prayers for you.