Leah and Michael are very wealthy in the love that they share for one another, and in the love among them and their friends and their families. Yes, the wedding was festive and big and glorious, with music to die for, cakes and wine and more food and drink than you can imagine, beautiful dresses, beautiful-er men and women, flowers, sacred traditions and prayers - and the abundant joy would have still been experienced if the day had simply been families and friends coming together to witness Leah and Michael's vows of commitment to one another.
I have been thinking about abundance - I think that I have talked about this a bit before. I am amazed at what riches I find when I look, when I listen and wait. In June, I sent the photo below to Sheila Rodgers, the photographer for Nancy Gift's book Good Weed, Bad Weed. Sheila is my dear friend, secretary, and "queen of f***ing everything." I asked Sheila if this plant that was growing like, well, like a weed, was indeed a weed. There were several of these plants, growing taller and taller in the beds in front of my house and looking like a mess. Sheila's response - "Depends on whether or not you like it and want it."
My summer class, Psychology and the Environment, is coming to an end. What a motley crew we are - counseling students (some of whom admittedly took the class only because they needed an elective and all of the other classes were either full or didn't fit their schedule), landscape architecture students (who must have been thinking throughout much of the course - "what in the world have we gotten into here?") and me - a late bloomer who has become enthralled with all things ecological - with the beauty of this world, and how it all works together, and how we can nurture and protect it. I have so treasured our class time together, learning alongside these people and experiencing each person, including myself, wake up just a little bit more each night.
Last night was an amazing class. Chris Condello did his first public speaking about the Whitney Avenue garden, telling the story of his own life and the community that is growing, thanks to his efforts, tomato by tomato, pumpkin by pumpkin. Please, please, please check out his blog and think about what you might also have to offer to your own corner of the world. Heather Smith, one of our own counseling students, also spoke. She had just returned from her annual trip to Oregon where she spends time in the wilderness with friends who are passionate about being with and learning from the natural world - she spoke about "deep ecology" and about the advocacy and activist roles that counselors and other ordinary citizens can take on.
Both Chris and Heather spoke the truth from their hearts. They bring spirit and light to their work and to their lives that touch so many others. Their work is not simple or clean. Neither one's story fits into a nice, neat box with square corners and straight lines - no box that might suggest lives of rules, predictability, and control. Their lives are messy. And wonderful. And abundantly rich. Just like ours. Particularly if we are willing, like them, to really see and listen, to get our hands dirty as we muck around in the soil with the bugs, worms, basil leaves, grape vines, and the occasional wild raccoon.
Finally got my rain barrels hooked up, thanks to friends from the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association - just in time for some good showers. How goes it in your world?