Monday, November 8, 2010

Because I Believe In Life....

[image of Afghanistan refugee camp taken by photojournalist Kate Holt~

[I wrote this poem in 1998, but feel the need to repost it today, after a weekend of reading postings by all who participated in the Blogblast for Peace, at Most especially the story of the Iraqi refugee family being helped by one young woman on one street in one city in the United States. Allie  saw the family was in need and did not turn away. She extended her hand in friendship in a truly remarkable way and turned things around for this one confused, displaced family. This story is told at

Through telling this family's story, Allie got them help. People from all over began sending warm blankets and coats. The family is blooming as a result of this friendship. I believe people do want to help, when they can address a specific need. When we are hit with huge numbers, we feel helpless, as if nothing we can do would make any difference.

I read that five million Iraqi families have been displaced by war, and my own brain glazed over. I had to jerk myself awake and go back and read it again. Five million families, just like this one family, whose story so touched me. A family to whom one hand reaching out  made a HUGE difference. Allie is one fantastic human being.

So here is this poem again, this sunny November morning, with apologies to those of you who have already read it. I continue to believe in life, no matter what.]

August, 1998

Yesterday my sister called me up
to say they were dropping bombs
on Afghanistan:
peasants bombarded under a morning sky
another slice of toxic political pie

Instead of turning on the news
I walked the beach -
dogs frolicked in the waves
with loopy grins,
as another radiant west coast day begins
All we can do is send out
love and light,
no limit to how far
our love can reach

A young woman,
huddled under quilts,
says her life "sucks"
while outside her bedroom door
a little miracle
with jam on his face
needs to know
the world's
a happy place
A child of hope
striving to survive
his mother's pain
living childhood days
of fleeting grace
that will never
come again,
waits for her
to look outward
and see
we are all part of
the glorious mystery,
life unfolding
when we stop

This morning I read
a polar ice cap
the size of Connecticut
is slowly breaking
and when it does,
whether three years
or five hundred
in the making,
the sea will rise up
in a single night
sweeping the coast
that's what they say

But all we ever have
is this one day
to be grateful for
each moon
each morning star,
each song
that opens doors
to who we are -
We all travel so far
to find that place
of love
where we finally
to now we're not alone
and let love guide
our footsteps
on the journey

My friend is
dreaming of babies~
a little soul is asking
to come through-
She wonders
how can she bring
a child
all sweet and new
into a world
so sadly helter-skelter,
so askew?

Because I believe in life
and life believes in life,
I say -
we open our eyes
to miracles
every day,
are only asked
to give back
what we can
along the way

This afternoon
a young couple
playing music
in the summer sun
set all our toes
to the beat-
gracefully, two women
started dancing
on the village street
We all were smiling
because life is fun
These are the moments
when we most feel
as one
each bringing gifts
to the universe's table
as we are able

We all want life
our souls all long
to fly
We bring our babies
into a world
of starshine
and blue sky
of song and wonder
love and laughter
and they will thank us
for giving them
the chance
to love and live
to share the joys
we know,
give our souls
a chance to grow
while teaching us
how much
we have
to give

No matter
what is happening
life holds
a million gifts
we still
can share
as simple
as the sun
warm on our faces,
as profound as love
in the most unlikely places-
love enough
to plunge our souls in,
fill ourselves
right up
with plenty
spilling over
to fill
our children's cup

Oh how they teach us,
as we share each day,
that the love that makes
us happiest
is the love
we give away
In them is our re-birth-
we send them forth
with love too deep to say
trusting that
the beauty of the earth
will carry them
the rest of the way


  1. The story you shared and your poem are both messages of hope.

  2. how true. it can be overwhelming to look at entire problem...but when we see a way we can make a difference, i also agree that almost everyone wants to help.

  3. What a wonderful post. I always keep bags of food in my car so that I can give, even if I am broke.

    Sometimes, I feel moved to turnaround and go back, even though the person is on the other side of the street. My son has gotten used to it and my husband knows better than to say anything.

    I think you might like this story:

    For some reason, I became acccustomed to using debit and credit cards for all purchases. I never missed having money until I had to drive by a homeless person on the side of the road. As I drove by, I thought about where I would be without faith, family and friends. I wondered what Jesus would think of me driving by without stopping. That evening I went to the store, purchased some food, and made up bags of food.

    I call them Blessing Bags:

    1. canned meat

    2. package of crackers and cheese (or peanut butter)

    3. granola bar

    4. bottle of water

    5. box of raisins

    6. can/cup of fruit

    7. napkin, plastic utensils, salt & pepper

    8. prayer card

    I keep these bags on the back floorboard of my car. Now, when I see a homeless person, I grab a bag, pull to the side of the road and honk. When the person comes to the window, I say, "Here is some food for you."

    When I hand over the bag of food, I always receive a "God Bless You." That is why I call them Blessing Bags.

  4. The Blessing Bags in the comment above mine are a wonderful idea that I fully intend to pay forward. I can only hope that more people show kindness in this way. Thank you for your post Sherry Blue Sky. Every bit adds to the ripple effect of peace.

  5. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  6. Wonderful poem, filled with love and hope, and the dream of our souls flying free...:)


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