"I see things differently..."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Here's to the Best in All of Us this New Year!

In this new year,
I offer my gratitude
to all who play their parts
as creation carries on,
as life moves forward.

All are needed; All work together in this creation
This is a poem, which like the future, has no real ending
to which acknowledgement and appreciation
can be added; anyone can join in.   (Please do!!)

For the life work, I took the separate verses
and randomly rearranged the order
to reflect the diverse nature of our gifts...
the great fortune cookie of life
as we each open to our callings.

Here's to the newly born, the babies,
who keep us aware of our vulnerability,
who bring out our tenderness and nurturing,
who offer hope for the future.

Here's to the children
whose freshness and exuberance
enliven our world
with new eyes, new ears….
new opportunities for 
a future of better choices.

Here's to the teenagers
who challenge our values
who test their new strengths and desires
who explore their interests, their options,
whose urgency is ever upon them.

Here's to the young adults
who try out the possibilities 
of their life paths
seeking work that is meaningful,
marrying and starting families.
Excited and terrified by the 
significance of choices being made.

Here's to the middle aged 
who bear the full weight of their responsibilities
who are immersed in their work
who are raising children 
and shepherding aging parents.
Who are striving to not lose themselves
entirely in the midst of life's demands.

Here's to the elderly
with their reflective wisdom
who are seeing the larger picture
even as their eyes dim,
who are aware of their mortality
and of the many farewells
that fill their days,
the tenderness they feel 
as they experience life's fleeting nature,
and the pull of life beyond this one,
which awaits their arrival.

Here's to the photographers and moviemakers
who help us see our world...
to see both beauty and ugliness,
ourselves at our best and our worst...
that by bringing it to clear view
offer it up for healing.

Here's to the storytellers
who weave words into meaningful tales,
who take life experiences
and capture the lessons and surprises
in a way that gives us greater understanding
of our journeys on this earth.

Here’s to the actors
who perform on the stage
the truths, the dreams, the fantasies of our lives
so that we can feel and act beyond the ordinary and mundane, 
inspiring us to new heights.

Here's to the therapists
Who guide our broken spirits
through probing exploration
and artful re-visioning and re-framing 
to bring us back to our true selves.

Here's to the teachers
Who help bring the collective
knowledge to our upcoming generation
and teach them how to learn, 
how to use their curiosity 
to seek new answers
to the questions and challenges that ever arise.

Here's to the coaches and consultants
Who take their knowledge and experience
and share their expertise
so that others in their work and challenges
may have their paths smoothed so that
they can ride on the shoulders of those 
who have traveled similar paths before them.

Here's to the leaders in government
that strive for justice,
that both lead and respond,
that discern the will of the people
and guide with a goal of fairness to all,
that reward good stewardship
that protect the vulnerable.

Here's to the healers of all kinds
who take our bodily malfunctions and wounds
and strive to bring us back to 
physical health and well-being.

Here's to the warriors
to those who defend and protect,
who selflessly offer their lives
for purposes that they believe in
who put themselves on the line
with their unwavering commitment,
both body and soul.

Here's to the sales people
who bring forth the features
of the things that can help our lives
run more smoothly and safely,
that can bring us beauty and enjoyment.

Here's to the gardeners
who tend their small plots of earth
gently nurturing each individual plant,
protecting them from overcrowding,
bringing flowers to full and glorious bloom,
bringing produce to fruition.

Here's to the poets
who blend words into rhythm and harmony,
forming crystalline distillations
of our experiences and aspirations.

Here's to the workers,
who assemble, who record. who carry out
that which needs to be done,
who attend to the particulars of our lives...
the steady, the meticulous,
the guardians and champions 
of the intricate details...
the unsung heroes.

Here's to the sculptors
wielding chisel and knife,
patiently paring away the non-essential,
who release angels 
from stone and clay.

Here's to the composers
who arrange separate sounds
into rich layers of harmony
and moves them in an divine order 
through the narrow strain of time.

Here’s to the musicians and dancers
who faithfully and creatively 
perform the song, the dance, the symphony.

Here’s to the homemakers
who bring beauty and warmth and order
to the surroundings of the lives that live within
the four walls that shelter us.

Here’s to the athletes
who train and discipline their bodies and minds
to feats of strength and beauty
whose courage and determination
are formed into powerful, cohesive teams
or soaring and splendid, solitary achievements.

Here's to the merchants
who connect those that create with those that receive,
who perform a service
in the smooth functioning of commerce.

Here's to the architects
who design the blueprints of the places where we dwell,
the gardens that surround us,
the neighborhoods, and cities,
bringing a planned order, functionality, and beauty
to our created environments.

Here's to the explorers  
and those who travel to new shores
and new worlds!
Who use their bold sense of adventure
to help us push our boundaries,
to farther reaches.

Here's to the painters
Who takes the materials of earth
and, armed only with a brush,
dances them into images of prismsatic colors and light.

Here's to the parents
who foster and raise up new lives
through their love and their example...
the teaching process of presence,
the discernment of the unique needs
of the young lives as they grow.

Here’s to the journalists
who dig deep to find the facts,
who probe that which is hidden,
who mine untapped sources of knowledge,
and report what they find.
Filled with a desire to bring forth truth and 
generate discourse,
helping us each find our own truths.

Here’s to all who suffer
who arouse in us compassion
who move us to needed action
who reflect our mutual wounds and brokenness 
of body, mind, and spirit,
who awaken in us a desire to heal and be healed.

Here's to the garbage collectors
who release us from our past
who clear away the debris that 
our living has generated, 
the clutter that would lead to stagnation.

Here's to the farmers
who faithfully nurture the seed
planted in the cultivated earth,
through all the gifts and wounds that weather provides,
to a harvest that reaches our tables
that fills our reserves
that prepares for next year's crops.

Here's to the quilters
who take the ragged remains
of our discarded clothing
or the untried new cloth
and stitch them together
to bring warmth to eye and heart and body.

Here’s to carpenters, plumbers, electricians
and builders all kinds
who execute the plans
that bring into physical reality
the structures of our habitation.

Here's to our spiritual leaders
who hold us in awareness
that there is more to life
than our earthly needs and desires
that this is not our home forever, but
that we are travelers on a journey.

Here's to the mosaic artists
Who take the broken pieces of our lives
and set them together in new ways,
more intricate and glorious
than the separate parts.

Here's to the engineers
who understand the 
mechanisms of how this world functions
and builds on these truths
to create complex and workable mechanisms.

Here’s to the scientists and researchers
who explore the facts and create hypotheses
and unflinchingly hold them to the test,
advancing our knowledge and understanding 
of the universe.

Here’s to the cooks
Who prepare the foods
that nourish our bodies and souls,
that bring out the rich fragrances and tastes
which we ingest and use to sustain our lives.

Here’s to the caregivers 
who tend to the needs of others,
who humbly nourish, and salve, and bandage, and clean up,
who honor and value the care receivers,
seeing past their weakness and dependency
to the strength and dignity of their individual lives.

Here’s to the realtors
Who help us find the dwellings
and workplaces
that are best suited for our needs and aspirations.

Here's to the historians
who help us remember 
where we have been,
who do not let us forget 
hard-learned lessons.

Here's to the storytellers
who spin their words
into meaningful tales,
who take life experiences
and capture the lessons and surprises
in a way that gives us greater understanding
of our journeys on this earth.

Here's to the weavers
Who take the separate strands of many colors ,
creating strength and beauty
through using their minds to design
and engaging their full bodies 
in the patient laying of the warp
in the steady shuttling of the woof.

Here’s to life, to our fellow sojourners
on our various paths!

My prayer is that we each
use our gifts toward greater good
that we recognize and honor and value
each other for our unique offerings,
our unique circumstances,
our seasons of life... 
that no one be lost or unloved,
that no life be wasted

I am inclined to believe that 
on the Seventh Day,
though God rested,
it was only a pause
before God continued to create
in and through us.

God has not abandoned us;
God has anointed us!

The best is yet to come. 

Gail Elizabeth Speckmann