Having and Sharing

I am very tuned in to the natural balance that the Spring Equinox holds. The return of more daylight hours seems to fuel my hunger for the energy to change myself and everything else. Easier said than done, in these overwhelming, scary, and unjust times. As a mother, grandmother, teacher, nurse, and constant project manager, I perpetually seek ways to find my own center and to share that path with others.

There are clues to help clear the way to focus on our priorities. UU minister and my friend Meg Barnhouse wrote this advice that is funny and true: “I need to have a surly waitress inside myself that I can call on when it seems everyone in the world is waving an empty coffee cup in my direction. My Inner Waitress looks over at them, keeping her six plates balanced and her feet moving, and says, ‘Sorry, Hon, not my table.’ ” That’s fine for those extraneous requests. But, what about the majority of work, responsibilities, concerns, and causes that really are important in the lives of people of all ages? Before we begin, it probably doesn’t hurt to do what my mother always advised, “Drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep.” Okay. Once we practice some form of self-care, put on our own oxygen masks first, and all of those other clichés and overused examples, what then? I do not have the answer.

I do know that others can guide me. I have read that the students who lived through the recent Florida school shooting are turning their rage into activism. They are creating a national movement. They’ve announced plans for a massive rally against school and gun violence in Washington, D.C., on March 24, with smaller rallies and protests in cities around the U.S. I am following local and global efforts and will inform and encourage our youth to take part. In our own congregation, we may soon be welcoming a guest needing sanctuary due to an unjust immigration system. There will be many opportunities to help. The Green Team is ramping up to move us along toward environmental justice practices. I am looking forward to learning at the Revolutionary Love conference in April and to more antiracism work with the Rev. Thandeka in her “Love Beyond Belief” program.

March is also when our congregation focuses on committing to generously supporting all we are and wish to be as a faith community. Our gifts – of time, caring, love, ideas, and our money, in their best use – all make it possible for our congregation and our Unitarian Universalist Association, our religion, to be a sacred presence in the world. Why? To be able to be with each other, on full and empty days, as we become our best selves, resist hate, and insist on changes in our world. I am counting on the generosity of our congregation to fund and support the next chapter of this faith community. Our Unitarian Universalism is evident each day of the week, not only on Sundays. It is evident in what we care about, what we do or don’t do, in what we fund, support, resist, and change.

As we approach the spring equinox, a natural balance in nature, I continue to find my center, to balance having a healthy personal life and sharing with others. I’m beginning to embrace the idea that we must make time to fill our own wells while remaining diligent in our care for our world. We can teach this balancing act to our children, students, friends and family by modeling the practice.

I look forward to experiencing this spring in our faith community and beyond,

Cathy Seggel, Director of Religious Education