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by HariKirin

We live in a trust vacuum.  Can we believe what we hear, or even what we see?

Yet here in America, it says very clearly on the back of all paper money: In God we Trust.

Do we believe it? Does the word God trigger an avalanche of fear, dread, resistance, grief, anger, hopelessness? Or does it feel sunny and kind? What Is your experience?

If not God, in what or whom do we trust?


I was raised Catholic.  God was a big paternal bearded guy on a white cloud somewhere, threatening to rain judgment for wrongdoing.  In my heart, I had a different experience.  When things got tough in my family of origin, I went to the dark woods and the golden fields.  What a blessing- they were right next to my neighborhood.  This was long ago, when kids weren’t helicoptered and tracked. 


There was a frog pond, in a small sunny clearing between rocky cow pasture and deep brown woods.  A rough stone wall surrounded it.  I could sit there and watch the chartreuse murk, breathing the nearby pine scent, the pungent pond, the nearby ferns.  Eventually a green leopard frog would press its impossible doll eyes above the algae.  I felt calm.  I felt the stones upon which I sat, the warm filtered sun on the top of my head.  Long before I was offered mindfulness training, mama nature taught me. 


Up the hill from the pond, there was a large expanse of clover.  Unafraid of bumblebees, I sat, the clover tall to my small knees.  I traced a buzzing journey of fuzzy legs, zigzagging  sun-

drenched purple sweetness.  Long before I ever tasted wine, I was drunk on mama nature. 


Even further up the hill, halfway to the red farmhouse, at the top of the larger fields, a maple tree took up lots of space.  She was large even then, spreading her canopy without competition, alone on the hill, gracing the intersection of gray stone walls, perhaps marking the way for the cows to return home to the barn.  Under the tree, it smelled of uncut grass, faintly of cows, reassuringly of tree trunk. 


It was a little risky being this far into the fields. Rumor had it, the farmer didn’t always take kindly to us kids - and had a shotgun.  But this story was deployed in daring moments when some kids tried to ride the cows.  I had a different mission. 


Sitting at the feet of that maple tree, under a protective cloud of bright green sunshine, there was a tiny indentation, just big enough for my 11 year old feet.  After rain, this long-grassed basin collected sweet cold water, so pure after the frog pond.  Here I soaked my feet, drinking coolness via my bare soles.  Here, I was grounded, revitalized, ok.


I don’t feel that the word God encompasses/contains or ought to usurp what I experienced then and now as a creative female energy infusing an earthling experience. 

I have no words to describe how I feel held and supported by a creative loving power.

To me now, it does not have to be gendered or hierarchal.  It can be a subtle whisper within.

I just have to remember to get quiet enough to listen.


Did not the frog love seeing me back? Did not the bees and the clover sing the same song in my heart? Did not the pool of sweet grass love my little toes right back?

I don’t presume to tell another person what to believe.  Our beliefs are drawn from lived experience and the places into which we are willing to leap. 


But I wonder, what if God is connection?  Not a person, but the connection between people. 

If this is so, dedicated practices to build & solidify equanimity in our souls is the most radical and necessary act of faith.

What if kindness given and received is the boldest and bravest form of worship?

What if God is what connects people to animals to plants to planets….and round robin again.  What if the interdependent web, of which we are all a part, is not the creation, but the actual creator?


In whatever form/formlessness each of us experiences something kind and larger than ourselves, it is my prayer that that is supportive, grounding, calming, revitalizing. 

And that we can give this to and from one another.   




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