- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have several appointments with environmental scientists over the next few days. Email exchanges thus far have indicated that I have much to learn, about the planetary crisis that many in the field blame on climate change. I am ignorant on many fronts. I am open to gathering as much information as my little brain can take in. Some of the science is challenging to comprehend. Much of it overwhelms and saddens, even can lead to depression and a total folding in.
I refuse, however, to give up and pull the blanket over my head. To simply be okay with raising Aster as my daughter in a world that is crumbling around us. I want to be the kind of mother who can teach her child well. To respect not only herself, but her community and her planet. As an adoptive mother I feel no greater responsibility than I would feel with the big job of raising any child in such a complicated time. To love Mother Earth, is to love the children enough to tell them the truth. Always. No matter what.
“Pray, Mom,” she commanded tonight after I had already done so.
“Of course,” I said. “I will pray with you again.”
And I did. “The light of God surrounds us. … The power of God protects us. Wherever we are, God is, and all is well. All is well. All is well.”
I made a vow to myself before leaving for Africa. In this promise hid a rose pedal and a candle light so faint it was barely visible. But the light existed, and I asked this light to stay ever-burning inside of me. I told the rose to keep its scent strong, to envelop me always in the brilliance that is the rose. I told myself that no matter what, I would not hide the truth from my daughter. However grim the outlook of the moment, she would know the truth, and I would share it with her shrouded in the garment of Love.
Aster would not be kept from the troubling truths that sometimes go along with being human. But she would always know, I promised myself, that my arms, and God’s arms, would be forever open to her. No matter what kind of challenge she would confront, she would be protected. In the silence of a solitary moment, I promised her that. All would be well.
All is well tonight, indeed. Even as the media wants to tell us otherwise, and the politicians for the most part are not interested in keeping us from harm. Even in the midst of so much that is wrong, I do not turn my eyes from the truth. No matter what, I feel the light that is in all of us, as I continue to vow that knowledge is power. Held in the loving arms of the Divine, we can always, at will, surrender to that which is ever-present and ever-comforting.