My childhood days were made rich not by what we possessed but by the attitude of those around me. From my mother, we learned to marvel at each detail in nature. My father’s laugh echoes through my memories as does his contagious sense of humor. I watched my maternal grandparents model generous work in the community as a way to celebrate your blessings. My paternal grandparents taught me to look for magic in every-day moments.

We did not live in a fairytale bubble, sheltered from the harsh realities also contained in the world. Instead, the people who loved and raised me somehow managed to convey that the world is beautiful in spite of the great horrors that also exist, and that celebrating the beautiful is often the best way to combat the terrible. We learned to feel both responsibility and gratitude for each other and the world around us.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to parent, heck, how best to live in today’s world. How do I call the joy and celebration with which I was raised into the need to roll up my sleeves and work daily, in ways big and small, to honor the rights of all beings and this planet? And how do I pass onto my children a sense of delight in the world combined with respect for the realities with which we are faced?

I believe the answer lies in the combination I was taught as a child: of wonder and work, of celebration and commitment. What better inspiration exists than love for the world? Why would we want to work for a world that we don’t first think is beautiful?

“Considered Days” is a journey of inquiry, an exploration of meaning and a consideration of all that is broken and all that is beautiful. I’m sharing my journey because I believe there is real value in collective exploration. Community is more important than ever. So is thoughtful consideration. I attempt to unite the two here by sharing my own path in the hopes that you will share yours, in whatever way resonates, as well.

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Life, examined