When I first started this piece in November of 2008, the country had just elected Barack Obama as President. At first, I envisioned this black hand to be his hand and I imagined his hand trying to juggle all of the various crises in the world: the economy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, health care, global warming, you name it.
But I found that when I tried to focus on all of these issues in the world, I was overwhelmed and felt that the issues were too large and beyond my own personal sphere of influence.
So instead, the hand in the piece became my own and I began to reflect on my life to date, on the choices I have made, and on how I will choose to live my future.
And I realized that I, along with so much of humanity, have been handed this incredible world and this amazing life -- rich and abundant and full of potential.
I can only imagine what it must have been like on earth just 1,000 years ago.
How many more species of animals and plants existed at that time? How clear the water must have been and how beautiful the skies...Abundant.
And I began to think that perhaps the world's problems were not beyond my sphere of control.
Today, I admit that I have made choices that have not been fair to this earth. I have chosen to have heat or air conditioning in my home whenever I want it. I have chosen to take a hot shower whenever I feel dirty and put fertilizer on my lawn because somehow dandelions and clover are bad. I have chosen to buy my meat in a grocery store where the meat is taken from large animal farms where the waste is overrunning our streams and bays. And I have thrown so much away. No longer wanted it. Disposed of it. Tossed it.
I have chosen to give up abundance in the long run...in order to have comfort and convenience in the short term. When Jack speaks of global warming, he speaks of what we must do to preserve the earth for his future and for his children's future...and he said, "You caused it Mom. OK, well maybe not you personally Mom...But your generation caused it."
Now, my immediate gut reaction is...not just me...not just my generation...Come on. It started way before me. But I wait before I answer and I think about it...My generation certainly didn't start it all but we didn't try to end it either...we were definitely a contributing factor...
And once again my child teaches me a lesson and I said, "You're right, Jack. In the past, we have made poor choices about caring for our earth. And now we know we must do something."
And in all of that, there is a metaphor for the gifts that I have been given -- for my abundant life.
This bead journal piece is a reminder to me of what is most precious. Of those gifts that are irreplaceable -- my family, my friends, myself, this earth...
They are the treasures that I have received by being here today, right now. What will I make of those gifts? What will I do with this one, unique and abundant life?
I don't know the answer to that. But I know that I have to continue to remind myself to choose wisely...and to remember what is most precious...
So that nothing is wasted.