Loving Connections

scan018This week I received cards from two people I haven’t seen in years but each was a good friend. Another person showed up in church who took a class from me 23 years ago. What a blessing!

Funny how you can see people often for a period of time and then they drift away.  That’s the way this modern world looks. We are not villagers in the Middle Ages who live in one place all our lives.

Losing track of friends doesn’t mean the connection was unimportant. Nor does it really mean the friendship is over. Truth is, we carry the imprint of their memory with us always. Every person, dead or alive, who was a blessing at the time you knew them remains a blessing to you this very day.

There is a wonderful poem by the great Transcendentalist poet, Walt Whitman, who says this very clearly. The poem is called, There was a Child Went Forth . It has always been my favorite poem because it touches the truth of who we are and how we are connected to each other in God.

The poem starts out, There was a child went forth every day;
 And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
 And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of
 the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.  It goes on to chronicle lists of all the beautiful and not-so-beautiful things the child meets in a day.

The poem is a literary masterpiece that portrays our connection to all of life. It also shows how everything in life imprints itself upon the soul of a child. Perhaps because I am a teacher at heart, I find the poem more religious than any writing in the Bible or other Sacred Scripture.

In beautiful, artistic language, Whitman shows how Oneness operates in our lives. We touch each other and that touch resonates throughout our lives. We are truly all expressions of God and we are truly all living our lives in God. It truly is all One.

Long before I completely understood the poem, I loved it. In college, I read it and reread it and I still read it often.  I  read aloud to my Emerson classes because it shows – at a heart level – how life really operates. We are connected in the Love of God and our task is to discover and use that truth in our lives.

The Transcendentalists claimed, as many of my friends also claim, that they found God in nature.  It is true that when I go to the Ocean, I can always count on touching in on the Universal Power and Presence of the Creative Energy of the Universal Life that we call God.

Nothing is as inspiring as the ocean unless it is a beautiful landscape. Right now the Jacaranda trees are in bloom in my town and they stretch their purple branches over my community, helping everyone know and enjoy Universal Beauty.

Finding God in Nature is a piece of cake compared to finding it in ourselves, our relatives, our neighbors and the rest of the people on Planet Earth. One thing I love about Whitman’s poem is that his child-hero encounters all kinds of people as well as nature in his travels.

Since God is All and in All, it is not surprising that Whitman saw the connection of all life, even in the actions of humans upon a child. We may tend to focus on the wrong done, ignoring how universal it is for humans to nurture and care for children. Human babies are totally dependent on the love of adults for a long time just to survive. Their nurture, no matter how peculiar, is a form of love.

Part of my spiritual practice is learning to see Love (nearly) everywhere I look. Coming home from Sunday service this week, I did find God everywhere I looked. I drove along Pacific Coast Highway with the beach in all its summertime glory  and thought about how pleasant it was to see my former student again.  I remembered her zest for life and she remembered me. I understood  that she and I were connected in the way that Whitman’s poem sang about Life and that it was a wonderful thing.

I know God really is everywhere all the time. It is in every friend we make and every beautiful flower we see. God is in our lives, full power, forever and all we need to do is touch into that Universal Truth to be happy. We carry the impress of every pleasant connection we have ever made in our memories and they have all shaped us into the loving people we are.

It was a wonderful day and a wonderful thought. I am committed to having more days that are as filled with goodness and light. And I know I can make choices that will help me do that. Won’t you join me?

I love the idea of finding God in Nature and I am all for taking care of the Planet where we live. I love the idea of finding God in people as well. It  is a wonderful thing to nurture and treasure our connections to others just as we tend our gardens, do our housekeeping and take care of our physical bodies.

We are human beings. We know we are alive. Most of us believe our lives have meaning. Most of us believe in some kind of Love. Most of us believe in some kind of God. Our well-being depends on our physical situation and our emotional situation as well. We have choices and we can make good ones.

Almost everyone needs other people to be happy. The good news is that we can always choose to reach out and connect to others. Even if we feel limited by time, money or physical mobility, we have all this new technology to connect with others in positive ways.

This week, just for fun, reach out to some old friend and say hello. Stretch and connect in some new way. Send a card. an email or make a phone call.  Let that person know he or she played an positive part in your life.

It is good to reach out in love to someone in your past and express the truth of your connection in a way they will appreciate. If you cannot think of anyone who is living, write your feelings to one of your departed connections. The result in your life will still be positive and strong.

Stay away from worrying about difficult relationships. Yes, I know some people can be as difficult as the worst hurricane but they are still a part of God. With practice, we can love them but focus on the easy stuff this week. Ignore the difficult relationships and focus on gratitude for the good ones. You can benefit yourself and connect with God as Love. Just imagine that!

Ask Yourself

Do I want to read There Was A Child Went Forth?

Can I list 25 places, people or things where I can find God as Love?

Where shall I  connect to express appreciation?

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6 Comments on “Loving Connections”

  1. Maxine Kaye says:

    I love this, Jane. Thank you for all the precious gifts you give.

    I love you and see God in you very easily! Maxine

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Jane Pool says:

    Your blogs are always deep thought provoking. The chord this one struck relates to the many dear friends I have made in the many places I have lived, only to lose touch as time and distance reduced our commonalities. But I do keep memories of them in my heart. The lesson I learned from moving so much is that there are good, loving, people everywhere even in some of the cities to which I didn’t mind saying goodbye.
    Thanks, Dr. Jane.

    • janeclaypool says:

      Dear Jane,
      As always, I treasure your kind words and your wisdom. i think the lesson you learned is a wonderful one that the whole world will learn in time. It really is true that there are good people everywhere we go and that is because wee attract them to us. You are a wonderful person, Jane, and I am glad you are my friend.
      Love,
      Jane

  3. Lynn Guilfoyle says:

    I am extremely grateful for all of the ways we have to keep in touch. I have moved far too many times and made dear friends in all of those places. Facebook, email and cell phones with no long distance charges have allowed me to stay connected. Close friends can stay close. Your blog reminded me of this and also that I want to send more cards by “snail mail” 🙂
    Thank you!

    • janeclaypool says:

      Dear Lynn,
      In this busy world you are way ahead of most us because you keep in touch at all. Yes, snail mail is kind of fun but the main thing is to stay connected.
      Love,
      Jane


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