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Ka-boom! Thunder grumbles its way down our valley, a muttered answer to the crack of lightning shortly before. The air feels blue—fresh yet charged with possibilities, disguised beneath gray skies that lend us dim solitude from which to consider our situation. This is our first spring thunderstorm, a sign of change.
People who follow such things tell us the pink full moon this week was also a sign of change. We’re turning a corner we cannot see. Religious holidays promise rebirth, a return to life. We recognize the cycle of fall, winter, and spring. Winter must end. We had fallen into a pit. Now we have a chance to start again—to dig deep to find the best of ourselves, to make it grow.
Nature has no problem with culling that which stands in the way—sometimes including people, industries, and homes. Nature renews itself, defends itself. No one knows precisely how many human civilizations have come and gone since Earth became habitable. Nature reminds us that we are, ultimately, vulnerable creatures scurrying across the landscape. We must be wise to survive, because we’re bigger than cockroaches and hiding is more difficult for us. Our adaptations must be exquisite. We must work together to create fresh solutions.
In an earlier blog, I wrote about how pathetic we technological giants are when our technology fails—as it must from time to time. Yet we proceed—ants rushing about building a kingdom that can be vanquished with a single heavy rainstorm. First, we need to recall that there is nothing we can build or etch or pen that will last forever. We are but flimsy mortals, and even those frozen in fabulously expensive capsules will one day rot away. The irony is that we ourselves, our indomitable spirits, will go on—although we treat ourselves and allow others to treat us as though we are the least important of our possessions.
Whatever you believe comes after this world—if anything—you cannot deny the inexplicable power of love and connection. Rebirth is not merely an occasion for rolling colored chicken eggs over manicured lawns. It is that immense urge to find a better life, to love and be loved more. It lies at the core of all the major religions. It demands that nations must strive to reach a level of civilization that is greater than material achievements, that elevates its citizens to their individual best, that restates the beauty that was the raw Earth we inherited.
Kindness is the simple definition of what we’re seeking. When we express, act, and vote out of kindness to ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet, we create finer civilization. We feel refreshed, rebirthed, worthwhile. We create our own emotional, spiritual spring. We use the cleansing of the storm to start again.