The Simple Understanding

Once upon a time,
When women were birds,
There was the simple understanding
That to sing at dawn
And to sing at dusk
Was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember what we have forgotten,
That the world is meant to be celebrated.
Terry Tempest Williams

bird body (2)

When I first read these words I saw in my mind colorful birds, large and small, all over the world rising up from their nests, settling on branches. In the east, the sun began to light the sky. Their songs joined together in a chorus of celebration. Of a new day. Hope and possibility. As the sun silently rose in her fullness, the birds fluttered to earth and became women. Women who gave birth, picked up crying children, built homes, cared for the sick and dying, buried the dead, painted wildflowers, created, explored, planted and tended gardens, harvested food and herbs. Women who wiped tears from those who felt pain, foraged in war ravaged cities, taught people to read and write, sealed corporate deals, spoke before and to leaders around the world, stood up for the poor, homeless, abused, defended human rights, fought injustice. Women who worked to save the injured planet, became astronauts, discovered cures for disease, healed from abuse, wrote music, told stories. A pallet of women who each knew their own voice and used it to say what needed to be said in order to do what needed to be done. A myriad of beautiful, vibrant, women who used their strong bodies to tend to the earth and all of her creatures. Women who used their intelligence and compassion to facilitate love, empathy, change and growth. Women who loved others with passion. Then, I saw the sun begin to set at the end of the day and in one synchronized motion, the arms of these millions of women spread open and in so doing, the women were lifted into the air in an ethereal ballet, returning to the form of a bird. Lighting on branches, their voices once again became a chorus of gratitude and thanksgiving for the blessings of the day. It was a simple understanding. Life is to be celebrated.

This is a poem written by a woman grieving the loss of her mother. In working through the emotions she ponders what it means for us to have a voice in our world. Have we forgotten our voice, our song? It is a poem that asks to think about finding the full power of our own voice. It is a call to tell the truth about our lives. A call to celebrate it all.

The simple understanding.

That we have forgotten.

What the birds remember.

The world is to be celebrated.

Is it possible to heal the world through joy? The joy of celebration. Can we all, once again, find our song of celebration and gratitude and sing it each morning and night?

How do we, each one of us, find our true voice and  join all the choruses of life together in harmony? Alone, each one perfect. Yet, when softened and flexible, they blend together creating a new, insuppressible rhapsody that is an unquestionable celebration of respect, love and support for all of life on earth. In finding our voice we give others the chance to find their voice.

Have we forgotten the simple understanding that our world and all that live upon her, are surely meant to be celebrated?

When do we begin the party?


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