As I get older and the end gets a few steps closer, I become a bit more nostalgic and philosophical. I look back at the good things that life has provided for me and I am thankful. Of course, life also contained things that were not so good, including some tragedy and trauma, but the good things renew my spirit and remind me of the supporting environment I have been supplied with that keeps me going with a sense of hope.
Well, here we are as a human race, and an existential threat is staring us all in the face with much more urgency than any other time in modern history. Will we respond with all the resilience and creativity which is available within each of us and will we form communities to work together to reconnect our tattered ties to nature, the planet and the great web of life?
It is, indeed, time to be thankful for a planet that has been sustaining us for the entire length of our human existence, through all of our trials and errors, our wars and destructiveness, sometimes because we were naïve but lately in spite of our sheer wantonness and destructiveness.
We have begun to think of ourselves as superior to the great natural plan that existed long before our species appeared. And that original plan will continue to sustain the planet long after us, if we continue on our present arrogant and destructive path.
Our current leaders and their paradigms and visions become expressions of a strange kind of hubris. They urge us to think that we, with our finite human intelligence can understand the infinities of that great web of life, about the universal energy hidden in the unknown dark-matter and dark-energy, to ignore nature, the planet and even universal energy to make better choices without any guidance from outside. We are living with the results of such leadership.
In the face of all that, it is still a time for me to express my thanks for the natural world that has been the source of my existence, my food, shelter and clothing, my survival on so many levels, albeit with the help of some human inventiveness.
It is time to express my thanks for the human relationships that sustained me, my friends and family, a supportive community and sometimes even strangers.
And all of this within a universe that, in spite of the predominance of its unknown dark-matter and dark-energy, somehow provided the basic human spark of life, and welcomed and supported me into the human family as a part of this matrix, so complex and unknowable that we are only granted glimpses of how it works.
Somehow, we have created a human world at war with itself. Every day we can choose the light, with relationships, openness, life supporting options, community and a sustainable future; or the dark, seeing threats in all the shadows, distrusting what we do not understand "the different" lashing out defensively with rejection, walls, violence, war and death.
Dark or light, whichever one we choose to invest our energy in, will bring forth a world in which we will have to live. We must choose which is most likely to sustain the human race on this planet.
We know what the human spirit is about, the spark of life that connects us to each other, to humankind, to nature, to the entire matrix of life"the supportive energy of the universe.
I am thankful to have been chosen to exist as part of this universal energy, manifesting itself in this great human experiment, knowing that I rely on that energy for my continued existence as does the entire human race. What better choice can I make than to invest in this remarkable experiment of humanity. Every day I will pay homage to that great honor, serving as I can, with my limited abilities, the continuation of those supportive connections to all the rest of life. All I need to have is the humility to remember the source of my existence, my connections to the planet and my dependence on that great web of life that sustains me.