This morning I spent a few minutes outside planting a hill of seed potatoes. The spring air is about as good as it gets, don’t you think? Sweetened with a trace of wisteria blossoms.
It seems such a gift that for a small effort, covering pieces of potato under a mound of soil, I will be able to unearth whole potatoes in a few months. Collard greens keep on giving. I tear off the big, lower leaves, and collards just keep growing taller with new sprouts at the tip. I call them my “palm collards” — tall stems with a clump of leaves on top!
Eight little baby bunnies grace my rabbitry, jumping in and out of their nest boxes. Katrina used to put one in each of her shirt pockets. Rabbit kits are a joyous gift I had very little part in creating!
Clean tap water and clear air are blessings many nations can’t enjoy. They are gifts of the earth, vulnerable to those who would despoil them in competition for lower costs of doing business.
Market value is no measure of life’s gifts. In Wyoming I remember scouring my imagination for how that expanse of land might be developed— too little water for crops or cattle, too distant for housing or businesses. Then I woke up: How often I confuse price with value.
The smile freely given by a stranger. People who look and listen and ask questions and celebrate insights different from their own. Gifts of community, fellow-travelers. Gifts of nature. Gifts of inner feelings and passions, experiences and insights, evolving, persisting. Gifts of personality, endlessly diverse among us and around the world. So much value, transcending the accident of price.
Religious community is where human beings seek to be awake to the priceless gifts of life. Gifts that transcend the changing market, whether balloon or devaluation. Here we gather in awe and wonder, gratitude and humility, the posture of religion (and of secular wisdom) around the globe.
At UUFEC, April is when we make our individual pledges of financial support for Unitarian Universalist religious community. Stewardship volunteers have drawn my attention to Malvina Reynolds’ song, The Magic Penny (1949): “Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.”
When we participate in religious community, we celebrate awareness and exploration of life’s gifts. We invest in one another, collaborating in shared leadership. We invest in Unitarian Universalist values by our living witness in the community. We invest with our time, our talents and our treasures.
Beyond my commitment to UnitarianUniversalist ministry, Jeannette and I will give real dollars in our pledge to UUFEC, guided by the suggested giving chart. We think it is worth investing in Unitarian Universalist values- exploring and awakening to the gifts all around us.
“It’s just like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won’t have any. Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many, they’ll roll all over the floor….”