We Are Giving Thanks

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I like to collect bee stories.

This past week I went to see my friend Diane for Acupuncture (https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Mother%20of%20Mercy). Diane is not only an amazing curandera, but also a devout Catholic dedicated to intercessory prayer on behalf of those who suffer —not only for humans but all living beings. She understands the one-ness of all creation and the vast web of life that we live within, sacred and blessed by the Creator.

As often happens, we got to talking all things bees. Diane told me this story which she said I could share…

This past summer, she noticed that the vegetables she planted in her back yard were devoid of bees. She worried. She waited. Not a bee in sight.

So she began to pray for the humble busy bee. She asked for the bees to come and visit her garden. And knowing Diane, with a heart filled up to overflowing with gratitude, she gave thanks to God for the bees.

Later that day, her husband Buzzy called her, saying, “Diane, did you see your tomatoes? There are bees everywhere. Lots of them”. (I am liberally paraphrasing her husband’s words.).

Sure enough, when Diane returned home that day, she said there were not just a few bees, but swarms of bees!

This week many of us will give thanks around our tables with family and friends in our traditional holiday style.

I bow to the First Peoples of this county who, out of their great and generous hearts, prepared food for the European settlers those many centuries ago—struggling with disease and hunger on the shores of this land. How could they know that the white men would flow into this country like hordes of grasshoppers over the next centuries, decimating their land, their people, their way of being?

I bow to the refugees today, on the move from their lands because of the violence of war, the seizing of their land, the inequitable global economics.

I pray that we might awaken to the same Spirit of connection that Diane reminded me of this past week— we are part of a vast web of life, human and nonhuman. May we live and pray to be in sacred relationship together, honoring all life. Honoring every being’s right to live kindly, peacefully and fruitfully upon God’s good green earth.

To end this post,  I am shamelessly copying W.S. Merwin’s powerful poem, “Thanks“, even as we stand in the face of so much that has been taken. So much that is lost. So much that is beautiful. So much that is possible…

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

— From the Rain in the Trees, copyright© 1998 by W.S. Merwin.

(I hope I will be forgiven for transgressing any copyright rules, despite the fact that this poem is linked everywhere on the internet…)

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