Poem: Giving and Receiving

Giving and Receiving December 4 2011

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We live nearby, across the street, next door, across the fence.

We have children, parents, grandpas, grandkids.

We share stories –

His of teaching in a one-room school,

Mine of being once again a student, in my seventies,

His of coaching kids in soccer,

Hers of family coming back together for a yearly feast,

Theirs of Star Wars droids and aliens – all in Legos.

We exchange the gifts of witness and of sharing. 

He gives me plums across the fence.

I give him back my famous Plum cakes.

I care for her cats and clean their box.

She then visits mine and keeps them fed, when I’m away.

I write a note and stick it in their door –

The printer they had ordered got delivered to my porch.

We walk our dogs, crossing paths repeatedly;

We learn about each other’s lives,

While dogs sniff and bow, barking now and then, leashes twined.

He asks if I’m all right.  I’ve been away, and he has missed me.

They  climb down from the school bus —

I don’t know why in front of my house and not theirs —

I ask about their day; they smile at me; I marvel at the clothes kids wear to school these days.

Her car is there, but she seems gone.  I call.  She answers, hoarse.

She has the flu.  I wrap and take to her a plate of dinner, and she’s grateful.  I wish her speedy wellness.

We share this neighborhood – all ages, sizes, occupations.  We’re community – a special kind of family.

We bring a unique richness to each other – gifts of friendship and concern. 

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Reflection

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Neighborhoods are on my mind these days.  Many neighbors from many communities are talking, planning, coming together to learn how to become true neighborhoods — no longer just rows of anonymous houses.    After moving away from family and origins pursuing better jobs, coveting material goods, we’ve finally stopped and thought about the legacy we’ve lost.  Our families scattered, we long for connection.  We’re learning that when we unite to share, we can recreate a wonderful connection with those surrounding us.  We can become new extended families, filling in the blanks we made when we moved away.  It’s a wonderful source of joy and warmth. 

 

 

 

About Rev. Rosemary Hyde, Ph.D.

I am a grandmother, a classical homeopath, a mystical poet, and an interfaith minister. I also have a large, enduring place in my heart for Paris. I first spent time in Paris in 1961, as a Fulbright scholar. I remained in France for three years, living also in Toulouse and in Nancy. I have revisited France and Paris multiple times since then, and have come to know central Paris reasonably well. I grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where there were many Franco-Americans, and their language fascinated me. I was fortunate in 6th grade, when my family moved, to find myself in a Catholic French speaking girls' school, where I had the wonderful fortune of becoming bilingual. It still feeds my soul deeply, to visit Paris, speak French, and reconnect with the little French girl in me. I am serving presently as co-minister at Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill, NC. I give talks one or two Sundays a month -- please go to the website, www.unitychapelhill.org, and sign up for the weekly e-news to learn what's going on -- special events, seasonal interfaith ceremonies, and Sunday themes and talks. My vision for the Unity Chapel Hill ministry and for myself is to become a loving, uniting presence in the lives of all those who cross paths with us. That's all there is, really -- loving presence. And so it is. Amen. My goal as a minister is to add richness to life for those who resonate to more than one religious tradition or to none -- those with mixed religions as well as the unchurched, untempled, and unmosqued. All of us, whatever our cultural allegiances, hunger for and need support in finding the transcendent joy that's ours to find in this earthly life. All of us need and want to celebrate beautifully the great and small milemarker moments. All of us crave the beauty of prayer as an expression of our participation in universal love. All of us wish to learn a greater vision, to see our lives opening to the Divine. All of us desire deeply to find serenity and peace that lasts no matter what happens today and tomorrow. This is the meaning of Transcendessence. We find the essence of spirit and transcend the narrow constraints of our bodies and egos. Join us today by subscribing, so you won't miss a single poem, message, prayer, or meditation.
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