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mary steigerwald
Message mary steigerwald

Have you ever watched the rain begin to fall on a body of still water? One drop falls here, it appears as a spark of light, and a ripple ensues. Over there, another drop of light and the ripple; now another, and another, and more and more, becoming too many drops to count; each light generating a ripple that begins at its tiny center then radiates out, ever widening. And each ripple passes through every other ripple as it glides across the surface to its destiny at the bank. The water becomes alive with the dancing matrix created by countless drops, points of light, rippling out, passing through.

Watching this shimmering ballet on the glassy alpine lake, I become aware of the metaphor unfolding before my delighted eyes: Nature's reflection of what it means to be an individual human being: a drop, a spark of light, sent forth upon the sea of life, to create a ripple and glide gracefully, lightly touching every other ripple as we pass in the sea, each moving toward our own destiny. Six billion ripples in the sea of life.

The rain has no choice where it falls, how hard it falls, how much turbulence it creates, or whether it will be the one drop that will tip the balance and cause the water to breach the bank. It just falls, according to the mastery of the divine choreographer. We humans, however, are endowed with choice, and along with this choice comes responsibility. Aware that each life, each act, each thought sends out ever widening ripples of influence on this vast sea of life, we have a responsibility to ensure that our choices are in consonance with our highest nature.

We have a mind; use it wisely; use it as a musical instrument, play melodies of love rather than discords of selfishness and destruction. Think deeply and consciously.

We have a body; fill it with life-giving foods produced in such a way that no harm has been done to our earth, our fellow creatures, our brothers and sisters. Before sitting down to eat, be sure that all others have been fed. Give thanks, eat mindfully.

Use the body to work hard, to feel the sun, to run, to smile, and watch that smile ripple out and touch the next one and the next one and the next.

Feel the body's energy and express it appropriately. Clothe it in garments produced without exploitation or injustice.

Use feet to tread lightly, arms to reach out rather than push away, to lift up not pin down, embrace not restrain. Use these hands to give more than take, caress rather than strike, create not destroy.

Listen to the suffering of others, fill the ears with the song of birds and gusts of wind, the laughter of children and the rushing river.

Breathe in the fragrance of herbs, the freshness of mountain air, and freshly baked bread.

Speak words of comfort and hope, sing songs of peace; consider the needs of others before your own. Look for an opportunity to help everyone you meet. Fill the eyes with the wonders of creation, the crackling fire, the face of a loved one, the starry heavens.

We have a heart. In the silence and the stillness of the human heart, there comes a voice. Allow time each day to enter the inner sanctum of the heart. It whispers choose wisely, move gracefully, harm no one. Give freely, be patient, love completely. Listen carefully, and follow. 

Be gentle. Be fair.Every action, every thought, every ripple affects us all.

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northern new mexico mountain resident, living off grid and petroleum free for many years
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