Seasonal Reflections

Posted by Sue, Volunteer Mentor @sueinmn, Dec 24, 2021

Members of the Mayo Connect Community are a diverse group of seekers, with many different traditions of belief. This season of the year seems to call to all of us to pause and reflect, regardless of our beliefs.
Below is a poem that speaks loudly to me.
Please share your favorite. Please give credit to the author.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Just Want to Talk group.

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
By Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

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The Road Not Taken – by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up." — John Andres Holmes

Thanks to @rambler for sharing this.

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Desiderata
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927

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@loribmt

Desiderata
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927

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Thank you, this was one of the readings at our wedding, and I have always loved it!

REPLY
@loribmt

Desiderata
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927

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@loribmt and all our Mayo Connect gang,, Merry Christmas and may we all see health and wellness in 2022!
Ever hopeful, Laurie

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For those with empty seats at the table today, an abbreviated version printed on the inside of a sympathy card which I have found much comfort in.

He is Not Dead
I cannot say and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away!
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be , since he lingers there.
And you- O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same, I say:
He is not dead- he is just away.

James Whitcomb Riley

REPLY
@artist01

@loribmt and all our Mayo Connect gang,, Merry Christmas and may we all see health and wellness in 2022!
Ever hopeful, Laurie

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Merry Christmas, Laurie. You’re always a beacon of light and hope, my dear. I wish you a very healthy year ahead as well as all of our Connect family! For those of us who don’t have a houseful of friends and family this year, wow, we sure have an extended family here in this forum!

I love the way you signed your message…Ever Hopeful.

“Ever Hopeful” is the foundation for those of us always looking for a positive outcome!
There are so many of us in this Connect forum with the same zest for life, the over-comers, those who persevere through adversity. In our house we call it the sprit of endurance. Laurie, (@artist01), @ess77, @jakedduck1, @lioness, @athenalee are just a tiny few of the members whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in my ‘less than one year’ as a mentor. I never expected to feel the level of emotional connection with so many people I’ll never meet in person!
You all touch my heart. The overwhelming level of support and encouragement all of our members share; to lift each other, to offer hope and a shoulder to lean on is so heartwarming and leaves me, Ever Hopeful.

The holiday season always inspires renewed hope, which we all desperately need. So whatever your reason for the season, I hope it brings peace, harmony and contentment to you and your families.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for Happy and Healthy New Year for all of us!

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Thank you for such encouragement! This morning, as I am sitting on the deck sipping my coffee, I almost felt sorry for myself, then, I reminded me that the sun is shining, I had food for breakfast, I am sipping on hot coffee, so what if I am all alone, so what?

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@anonymous260206

Thank you for such encouragement! This morning, as I am sitting on the deck sipping my coffee, I almost felt sorry for myself, then, I reminded me that the sun is shining, I had food for breakfast, I am sipping on hot coffee, so what if I am all alone, so what?

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Exactly!! We are responsible for our own happiness and we can be our own best friends!

The simple joys in life are what keep us going. It can be more difficult during the holidays with all the Hallmark movies showing friends and families gathering. But that doesn’t reflect everyone’s normalcy. My family isn’t anything like that! No one is here today either. ☺️ Tea in silence this morning. A time for reflection but also a time of appreciation for what I have.

So, I’m happy you’re able to be out in the sunshine sipping that coffee this morning. Embrace every day as a gift. I was given a second chance with my life with a bone marrow transplant. Without it, I’d not be around this Christmas. This is my 3rd holiday season of survival. Every single day is treasured. Anytime we’re not pushing daisies up from the underside is a day to rejoice!

@nannette2022 I see you’re new to the Mayo Connect forum. Welcome! What brought to us today?

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I do not know exactly what brought me here this morning except that when I got up I felt tired of being depressed when, as I am told by so many that "I have everything to be happy for". Yes, it is true, yet, I did not/do not chose to be depressed, and, as I have said so many times, when your foot hurts, you do not go around dancing thanking God because you have no toothache.

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@anonymous260206

Thank you for such encouragement! This morning, as I am sitting on the deck sipping my coffee, I almost felt sorry for myself, then, I reminded me that the sun is shining, I had food for breakfast, I am sipping on hot coffee, so what if I am all alone, so what?

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But you are not alone – maybe physically so, but you have chosen to be part of the Connect community. I care that you struggle, as do many, with the feeling of aloneness. Please remember that you are part of the larger universe.
I am so glad that you chose, for today, to appreciate the sun and savor your hot coffee. I hope you will continue to reach out to others, and to share, in your own way, that for which you are grateful.
Wishing you a peaceful day.
Sue

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