The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 37: Only Love

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July 7, 2020-

Today is Aram’s birthday. My calls to/from him are most often open-ended, both in terms of time and subjects of conversation. This morning was no different. Two hours and change about covered the gamut.

These sorts of exchanges with family are all too rare, even in COVID times, but they are invariably infused with love. Today’s topic for Harmonic Convergence was “The Leadership of Love”. There were a wide range of subtopics covered, from how to direct love towards someone who comes across as unloving, to the roots of materialistic society-and what a non-materialistic (love-based) society might resemble.

Aram used to raise the last possibility, in his late teens. I would always point out that we are hard-wired, as a species, to need a medium of exchange-and that currency has been with us, at least since the first coins were minted at the order of King Croesus, if not since his predecessor, Midas of Lydia, amassed gold.

There was a lengthy, and rather ultraconservative, argument presented, this afternoon, that the entire system of financial transaction, from monetized housing to wages themselves, despite having been in place for so many millennia, is not divinely ordained in perpetuity.

Indeed, Baha’u’llah teaches that man is free to continue using money and compound interest as tools to amass such wealth as can be used for the good of mankind-and yet, it is love, not material wealth, that will be the guarantor of the fullness of a spiritually-rooted civilization. Money’s present role as the “lifeblood” of civilization is not guaranteed to remain so.

This is quite simple, when one gives it thought. Money comes and goes, in the lives of most people, as does fame and even public approval. Love, however, can outlast all of these, as it is the bedrock of all life, of all consciousness.

It has ever been, and will always be.

Janus in July

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July 30, 2018, Prescott-

I will return to the chronicles of my summer road trip, in a few hours. First, though, I want to note this month’s activities, closer to Home Base.  The three weeks following Independence Day were mostly relaxing, yet had their share of joyful activity.  We celebrated the birthday of  a generous and humble friend, in what was supposed to be a surprise.  Our efforts came as no surprise to her, but she was nonetheless delighted.

I learned that my left knee does not take kindly to being idle for long stretches on the road, at least while my carcass is undergoing chiropractic adjustment, between now and March.  There is some connection between the two, so with Fall coming, I will need to get in at least one vigourous walk per day.  That will give my knees the workout they seem to crave.  Planet Fitness and Deep Blue ointment are also helping.

I have, at long last, taken the time to pay a few visits to Firehouse Coffee and Black Dog Coffee Shop, virtually completing “discovery” of our town’s java joints.  Both are fine purveyors of brew, but Firehouse wins the cinnamon roll contest.  Black Dog focuses on scones.  The Saturday after I got back was my son’s 30th birthday.  After wishing him a great day, long-distance, I went to Game Night at Wild Iris-enjoying Uno and a dice game, with the regulars at this event.

This past weekend, though, was a special cap on this bountiful summer.  I did three days’ Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) service at Bellemont Baha’i School, west of Flagstaff.  All three days featured “gully washers”. Saturday had the added excitement of a heavy hail shower.

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Even with a borrowed tent, and large tarpaulin, there was much to be done later, as I had to use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to siphon the small pond that had threatened to ensure no sleep that night.  As it was, I had a dry tent, by nightfall, and slept very well.

The service in question was on behalf of over 50 middle school-age children, from the Phoenix area. Many of them had not been out of the metro area, so being in the woods was a fabulous experience,  to say the least.

The camp was open for a half day, today, but I came back to Prescott, last night.  Three days of preparation and “welcome back” gatherings at Prescott High School will get another year of concerted effort at learning underway.  So, it’s ten months of joyfully getting up at 4:30, knowing that we will provide at least some stability and learning opportunities for eight young people who, rather like me at their age, cannot count on their own bodies to remain calm and focused, without assistance.

2018-19 will be a monumental academic year.

Ongoing

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September 12, 2016, Prescott-

Meetings tire me,

more than the antics of children.

So, as I sat through the proceedings

in a stuffy second-floor room,

I took in all I needed,

through careful listening.

Then came afternoon.

Cool outside,

stale and debilitating, within.

My thoughts wandered

to the school district clerks,

who will occupy these rooms,

after a renovation next year.

The process is ongoing.

I had a nice time,

at a birthday party last night.

It was a good transition,

from the dark memories of

that day, fifteen years ago.

New friends, and old,

drummed, sang and ate

delectable barbecued meats

and all manner of side dishes.

Friendship and camaraderie are ongoing.

Today is my brother’s birthday.

Far off, in Atlanta, or

somewhere else on business,

he keeps setting the bar high

and setting his employees straight.

Communication is ongoing.

The Road to 65, Mile 306: Sis

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September 29, 2015, Chino Valley- I spent the afternoon up here, meeting parents of some of my students and going over materials and procedures with which I will carry on this teaching enterprise, starting October 12.

Today is my only sister’s birthday, so I gave her a call.  She and her husband are in the midst of a long-desired trip, seeing fabulous wilderness, in another part of the country.  It does my heart good to see this, with her life of service having in some ways eclipsed my own.  Her four children and seven grandchildren stand in testament to this.

Sis has been my friend and confidant for most of our lives.  She has survived challenges that would make a lesser person fold up the tent and head for cover.  She has kept on, taken one day at a time, and has never lost her joie de vivre, or ever-present smile.  She  has never lost her love for family, or sense of what is right.

On this day, I can only offer thanks for her presence, and for her unwavering support through the tough years of my beloved wife’s decline.  I am blessed with the best of families, and Sis is no small part of that.  May these birthdays long continue.