Dedicated to UU Catskills’ New Members, 2022
Nature is always telling the story
of the individual and the collective
Every solitary blade of grass
in a field of ten billion
grows only to its own inner rhythm;
dances out, on its own terms,
its own relationship to the sun and the rain,
motion and time.
And also: each blade is the meadow
and the meadow is it.
And not just the grass, but all the wildflowers
and lichen and bugs and
clumps of dirt and everything else,
even the little purple flowers that
ought to be in some other field,
according to someone’s reckoning,
a reckoning of which the little purple flowers,
while dazzling with their beauty,
mind not one whit.
Nature is always telling us the story
that to live, alone and together,
is a glorious and chaotic adventure.
Here at the congregation, we live that story
according to our human nature.
We are not asking you to change who you are,
one smidgen of your own peculiar glory.
We are saying: look to the meadow
of which your glory is an integral part.
Be aware of those around you,
nurture your awareness of the beauty of difference,
do not mistake your own worth
for a dogmatic stamp upon the world.
Look to the glory of the meadow.
Make room, sometimes, for the dance of your neighbor.
If the breeze calls you to it, dance along yourself.
Give of yourself: which is not to say
take away any part of who you really are,
but to live yourself out more expansively,
stretch to the heavens with a selfless joy,
letting go of all that clinging,
knowing that you are the meadow,
you are the earth,
you are the lover and the beloved in this
beloved community of all life,
you are fully and utterly yourself and beyond yourself,
and it is happening right now,
and it is glorious.