I love these lines from the poet Rilke:
Once again the birds lift up the sky
That to our shoulders was too heavy.
When we are weighted down by the unthinkable domination of war, the basic life force of Earth brings us back. Right now is the “just yet” time of new green on the branches. Right now is the time of staring into the yellow trumpet of daffodils and remarking on their miracle. We belong to the Earth. We are not just on the Earth, we are of the Earth. The Hilltowns are a place of knowing this, and living it. The weight of war is too much, too unthinkable to the human spirit. It goes against how we are encoded. Educator Robert Slavin says that the scrawny human being wouldn’t have survived without cooperation. We turn to each other and all the ways we build community.
In Poland there is a famous saying: Gość w dom, Bóg w dom. The English translation goes like this: A guest in the house is God in the house. Right now in Poland, churches are making room for hundreds to have a bed. Polish people are opening their homes, organizing food, welcoming Ukrainian people. The opposite of war is remembering our interconnection. The opposite of war is remembering the value of life, of looking into the eyes of neighbors, and connecting to people around the world who in the web of life are our kin.