WITNESS THE FITNESS
Read by the poet at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Washington, D.C., December 1, 2005
The thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lighting rattles the eaves of our houses.
Floodwaters await in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and gray and threatening.
We question ourselves? What have we done to
so affront nature?
We interrogate and worry God.
Are you there? Are you there, really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Into this climate of fear and apprehension,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in
the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lighting sleeps
quietly in the corner.
Floodwater recedes into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children.
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they
walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth, brightening
all things,IT i
Even hate, which crouches breeding in dark
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by
It is that for which we have hungered.
Not just the absence of war. But, true peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of
We beckon this good season to wait awhile
We, Baptist, and Buddhist, Methodist, and
Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and your world with your
We, the Jew, and the Jainist, the Catholic and
Implore you to stay awhile with us
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see
It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues the coming of
All the earths tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the
Peace. We look at each other, then into,
And we say without shyness or apology or
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Spread everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor...Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Watch Your Words
Watch Your Words
"On the path from pain to power," says Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. "It's important that you monitor your words, using phrases that empower rather than weaken you." Dr. Jeffers, a psychologist adn author of many books and tapes, including Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Dare to Connect, gives this list of examples of pain and power words.
It's a problem
Life's a struggle
What will I do?
It's an opportunity
Life's an adventure
I know I can handle it