Posted 12/06/2019 14:01:26
Category: Think Pieces
It's beautiful in the Virginia countryside right now. Finally, after a long dry spell, those tardy April showers have arrived! Buttercups and clover bloom among the fescue in my backyard. It looks like a country meadow. The tree trunks are streaked black from daily rain; the leaves glow green. It’s all so inviting I want to have friends over. Hmm. Whom to invite. How about Tea Partiers. And Progressives. Oh my. Suddenly I’m reminded of the Mad Hatter at his garden party and wonder if I've gone mad, thinking of such a thing.
What would it be like, so-called “pro-lifers” and “pro-choicers,” coming to the table, sipping from delicate cups, speaking to one another with civility? Might they might become aware, when truly listening to the “other,” that we’re all pro-lifers, and pro-choicers, just in different ways—and then might they become so intrigued by the knowledge that they decided to continue their discourse, to call a an end to all the ranting long enough to examine the real meaning of it all?
Maybe I should invite people over for drumming out in the yard. I know firsthand how well drum circles work to promote human bonding and spiritual connection. I like the philosophy Alice Walker espouses in her book, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing. Earlier this month I attended the outdoor wedding of a couple whose guests were called to gather by the striking of a Native American pow wow drum. Some guests picked up the djembes and other percussion instruments on hand, and we formed a circle. The groom danced while playing rain sticks. The bride twirled at his side. After the ceremony the couple's musician friends entertained us with more music, and guests of all ages took off their shoes and danced on the grass. One talented man created, with beautiful calligraphy, on gorgeous ivory paper trimmed with black and gold, a Quaker wedding certificate which all the guests signed as having witnessed and celebrated the marriage. As I stood in line waiting my turn to sign, someone said she was put in mind of the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence. I said I wished we could sign a Declaration of Interdependence, a document signed, unlike the one in 1776, by both sexes. Afterward, we feasted on food provided by the bride and groom's family and friends—it was a royal smorgasbord! a gourmet potluck! We were invited to plant seeds in paper cartons and write messages on them which symbolized our hope tha,t as the seeds germinated and bloomed in the newleyweds' garden, so would all of our wishes for them.
Until June, if you get the chance, invite someone to tea. Talk long and leisurely. And absolutely find time to dance, like a dervish. And if the opportunity presents itself, don’t ever hesitate to beat a drum.