What do we do when the world is on fire? I imagine you, like me, are feeling the heartbreak of recent world disasters: fires, floods, extreme heat…the many many misfortunes that have upended people’s lives around the globe this year.
The Maui fires were especially close to my heart, and I’m still reaching out to friends on the islands to see if there’s any way I can support from afar. As I write, friends are also being evacuated from several East Washington/North Idaho towns due to fires and high winds.
Even if the weather in your part of the world is mild in comparison, you are unlikely to remain untouched by the heartbreak.
Yet every time one of these intensely challenging situations rises, we hear inspiring stories of helping hands, innovative solutions, people rising to the occasion to be there for one another.
In Maui, a few friends are packing food containers, others are finding solutions for missing & wandering animals, and people from around the world are joining in prayer to send healing energy toward the land.
Sometimes, that’s what we can do.
I was moved to tears when I read about historic Lahaina’s banyan tree, which has become a symbol of hope for all of Maui. Many years ago, I was standing beneath this magnificent tree, feeling a deep sense of gratitude and awe, when I was suddenly flooded with such a great wash of love that I knew it was the tree returning the complement. It was one of the most profound experiences of connection with nature I’ve ever had.
Apparently the 150-year old tree is in a ‘coma-like state’ but with live tissue under the singed bark. The state arborists are caring for it, expecting the tree to show signs of recovery in 3-4 months.
I know this news may not be comforting for those who have lost family, friends, homes, and all of their belongings. As the arborist says: ‘it’s just a tree’ and our main attention needs to go to the rebuilding of homes and lives.
But the banyan tree is a symbol of hope, and the life it holds carries a message of restoration that applies beyond the natural world.
We are a species of resounding resilience.
And what fuels resilience more than anything is not just hope, but positive action. The best thing we can do when feeling hopeless or fearful is to choose one small (or big) action to move our brains into compassion.
How do we choose which act to take among the many world needs?
Let your heart choose.
Your heartbreak is Love Calling.
Your answer is exactly what the world needs.
Listen carefully. Love deeply.
Be a Light for our world.