Earthworms’ Castings

With Jean Ponzi

Courage for Change

Received this poem from Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow, a climate action leading Elder. The poet ** is Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar, minister and editor of Unitarian Universalist Quest for Learning. 


What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath — the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Change is the nature of Nature, through every season, every cycle of day into night into day. Nature offers us Change without the price tag of Fear. 

But we are so urged, by our own beliefs and social forces, to want to stay the same. It takes a massive whack to get us to change. Willing or not, here it comes.

We’ve experienced more of this about Climate Change over the past year-plus than any time since the term was coined. Concentrated forces: radiating from Science, galloping through Popular Culture, even – for moments, in places, especially Local – functioning stronger than Politics. Thanks to Youth!

But dinkin’ around continues as the visible norm. Change is happening in this sphere, but it’s not in the headlines and hasn’t yet hit Critical Mass for our species’ capacity to respond and CHANGE our Climate Impacts to Earth. Must do, but that’s another essay.

So along comes the force of protein bits. 

I am not making light of COVID-19. I’m trying to stay aware, while taking the crisis precautions. And using Perspective to keep up Courage.

A virus is defined as non-living, but it functions with reciprocity that is terrifyingly pure: it needs your cells, you get it, it replicates, you pass it on. ZERO need or regard for any Preferences or Values in this exchange. Survival of the fittest: Nature Most Fierce.

To stop this Change Agent, and then have the Courage to press on with Change for other Planetary needs, let us Learn From this Process as we DO it! 

We must Stay Apart, All Together. That’s Social Distancing, the stuff that shuts down our day-to-day and drains the viral power.

We take care of ourselves with the stay-home-if-sick, wash hands, report yourself if you have symptoms. We take care of ALL by practicing all of this, caring for one another, especially from a social distance for our Common Good.

This is practice-by-fire of living with both sides of Duality. Not our species’ strongest suit, but we have it in us! We have the Capacity, the Will and the Courage for resilient Change that benefits All Life. 

With this virus among us, that’s all HUMAN life!

This is a way to celebrate 50 Years of Earth Day, lacking a festival. (Maybe in the fall?) From this urgent trial, we can grow smarter, more compassionate, to cooperate in Change for All Life on Earth.

Nature is rootin’ for us! Once again, She is giving us SPRING.

Take care! Help each other! Be well!

For All Our Relations.

This month Jean Ponzi’s Earthworms show digs into a 33rd year of community service on KDHX St. Louis Independent Media. Conversations with humans making Change work, are at YOUR service at KDHX.org.“**What can I do to help now?” Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar asked herself. “I’m only good at poetry and training dogs.” Good Lynn!