I first heard the words from Sarah in a small northern Alaskan village, long ago.
The tiny, elderly, native woman spoke them slowly and carefully
all the while looking directly in my eyes.
“How deeply you are connected to my soul, June.”
Deeply humbled by her words, I was thinking
“this is not your common-ordinary-everyday conversation with a stranger.“
And yet, at that moment, I could feel it.
I could feel the connectedness we shared and knew,
even though we were cultures apart
and our differences far outweighed our similarities,
the ‘at-one-ness’ with each other was real.
At that moment, our souls had connected.
One of the songs I learned in the tiny wooden building in the Alaskan bush, reinforced Sarah’s words:
“How could anyone ever tell you that you’re anything less than beautiful?.
How could anyone ever tell you that you’re less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle?
How deeply you’re connected to my soul.” (Libby Roderick)
Though I was the stranger in her remote village,
and our customs, language, traditions, life experiences were alien to one another,
something (SomeOne) indelibly linked us together.
And in that moment, as I realized the possibility of two people who,
on the surface have little in common,
could have a soul-connection,
the word ‘community’ took on a new meaning.
As I watch and listen to the news
about the hurting parts and people of the world
As I listen to the growing rhetoric expressed by politicians
who don’t tell the truth
and whose views and comments lead to an escalating almost-to-the-point-of-paralyzing fear
As I watch and listen
to the growing intolerance and racism and misogynyism and hatred of people
I can’t help but wonder and ask
“Why can we not care for all people – truly care for one another?”
“Why can we not recognize the soul-connections around us?
“Why can we not be community?”
… an image of geese, flying in formation, comes to mind
– one bird in front creates a draft with its wings
so that it’s easier for those behind them to follow.
When the lead bird tires, it flies to the back
… and another takes the lead.
When one of the birds is tired or ill,
… it is accompanied to the ground by another bird
until it is ready to join the rest of the group.
If human beings could be like geese and care for one another
… truly care to the point that we affirm and encourage one another
… speak kindly of one another and support one another
… hold onto our differences and resentments, anger, fear,
… continue to spread untruths
… and make assumptions about others
If more people could be like Sarah
and extend a soul-connection to everyone we encounter
… be that in person or in cyberspace
… be they family, friend, enemy, stranger, politician
… be they a different race, nationality, religion, atheist, gay, unemployed, transgender etc..
soul-connections could be made.
A diminutive elder in a small, isolated village in Alaska
… gave me a gift
a gift that has stayed with me for decades.
“How deeply you are connected to my soul” she said.
Sarah was right.
She and I were connected at the soul-level.
When we recognize that we are all part of the same community
… the human community
When we are open to making a soul-connection
… and not just say or think but believe of one another
“how deeply you are connected to my soul”
soul-connections will be made
community will happen
… in our neighbourhoods, countries, world.
Thank you, Sarah, for being my teacher.
© june maffin
photo of native Alaskan woman – public domain: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elder_native_Alaskan_woman_1979_FWS.jpg