Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Rainbow Family

So I went a milking last Tuesday evening, after threatening sounds from the sky but no real action. I walked down the hill through the woods and when I emerged in the field, it was as though I had been immersed in green. The grass, the trees, the hills, all green. The smell, all green. But somehow even the evening air was green. I was swimming in green.

When my eyes adjusted a bit to the change of light, I saw there was indeed a rainbow in the sky. It was the second one that week, and I called to the children that I could hear outside for them to come and see it. They all came, even husband, barefoot hobbling through the woods, to take in the rainbow, broken into two parts, fading eventually, but always delightful.

The cow just thought I was crazy, standing there looking at the sky instead of milking her.

One of the things I am proud of in my children is their taking of everyone just as they are. The rainbow and its many colors reminded me of that. They don’t care how old someone is, or what they look like, or anything else except that they are nice. They NOTICE differences, they don’t pretend they don’t exist, but they just take people as they are in the moment.

You know, I think there is a lot of emphasis on what is different about us. It is perhaps most evident in religions, and especially religions I grew up with, always trying to prove that they are the right one because they are unique. I’ve come to study religions with a view toward what is similar about them. I figure maybe what they all agree on, they got right. I’ve come to see that most of what is unique to each one is a political tool designed to exert control over someone else, someone greater and someone less.

I remember my grandmother talking about foot washings. Foot washing is about serving, being humble, being useful even. The leader of a community is not the one who needs the most from the other members, but the one who is able to provide the most, to serve the most. Our culture has it exactly backwards. We have to focus not on what we need (or what we don’t have), but what we have to give away because we HAVE to give that away.

We have gifts to give. We all do. If our children got through all of life without ever learning that the word “and” is called a conjunction, or without memorizing the times tables, or without having a clue what 1492 corresponds with, what significance would that be? But to get through life with your special gifts intact (not having to rehab them from the dung heap of institutional regimentation) -- having a gift, and knowing it, without ego, without expectation; now as far as I’m concerned, that would be something..

1 comment:

Deb said...

That is such a beautiful thought. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I want to be a mentor to my daughter, much more so than my own mother was, and an important part of that is definitely to show her that she has important gifts to give the world.