Maggie Hooker Story and Mary Oliver Poem

Today I want to share a story about two magical synchronistic events, a spiritual revolution and a poem by Mary Oliver.

The first part of this story begins  October  2017. I am a regular reader of the Strafford list serve and found myself looking forward to the writings of Tom Kinder and his reflections on our community and its connection to spirituality

On Monday October 30, he wrote:

“We can feel hope and joy at this, if we love Strafford for its traditional rural agricultural ways and for the beauty of its working land.  We can be grateful that a new generation is working hard to make the Strafford of the future, a place where we still have the land and the people and the knowhow to feed ourselves, as our world becomes more worrisome.  We can give thanks that we have a strong culture of taking care of one another in times of need.
We can show our gratitude by participating.  …

Please extend your compassion and lovingkindness to those around you who are struggling in this hard time.”

That morning I reached out to Christa , I copied and pasted Tom’s message. “Hi there, This was posted in today’s list serve. I like what he said and how he said it. Not this Sunday but one soon, I’d like to check out his service. “

That very morning, Christa copied and pasted that same passage with the same message. We moved independently of one another, yet that meaningful coincidence was the beginning, an unfolding of a relationship with a larger community, an awareness that I was ready for more, and I think that we, as a family, were ready for more.

And here we’ve stayed, building our network of strength through connection and purposeful, thoughtful engagement

Fast forward to the second synchronistic events

Friday June 8, I was listening to the morning news on the way to work about the children of refugees that were separated from their families at the border and were then being confined in NY State, 2,000 miles away from their parents. I was horrified and overwhelmed with emotions. In tears, I sent Christa a text , “we have to do something”.

June 9, the very next day, Christa received an email asking if she knew anyone that would be interested in adopting a local child in need.

Prior to this exchange, to these events, Christa and I had talked about fostering or adopting. I was the hold out, afraid that I wouldn’t like myself if I took in another child. I worried that I would be resentful of time and attention and that I had not enough love to share.

On that morning in June, however, something shifted, and cracked to let the light it (as Gretchen Hannon would say)

I had , I think, a spiritual awaking. A revolution that love, my love, was not a finite resource – that I had the ability to care for and nourish others, that it was not something that I needed to hoard and dole out in measured amounts as a diminishing resource.

This child was not from Honduras, she was not a refugee caught up in the maelstrom of our presidential politics, but she was a child separated from her family

C was in need of  love, care, nourishment, laughter and safety.

We had that to offer;  we have that in spades.

And that concern that I wouldn’t be enough, or there wouldn’t be enough has been refuted.

I see our family growing in new ways, the joy of watching Emmett interact as a big brother, a care taker , sometimes as an instigator has been such a gift.

We three are now four, and we while don’t know the timeline or what comes next, we (are working to) accept it as part of the process, part of our wild and precious adventure.

Our family, this community,  has and is developing “a strong culture of taking care of one another in times of need”.

Maggie then read The Summer Day by Mary Oliver.  You can see the text by clicking here, and you can hear Mary Oliver read it below.

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