It struck me as metaphor for ecology -- the connectiveness of our experience in that theater. Had people gotten up or let their cell phones go off or started talking or tossed trash on the floor, our typical boorish behaviors, the experience would have been lost. The connections suddenly disrupted. Or if some of the singers started getting out of line or mocking their roles or walking out. But everyone was focused on the common experience, with many different functions being fulfilled with joy and wonder. And Love. There was a feeling of the Love beyond us all pouring in and through us and to each other like the wave of music and applause.
That is when wonder needs to be noticed and prayer is the candle we most need to light. Because we as humans can't do it all ourselves. We need that feedback loop of Love being poured in us and through us to each other and back again and to the whole family of creation, in which each species and habitat is fulfilling its function. Of course, we aren't always going to manage to be in harmony, all doing our best, as in that theater, because we have different approaches and opinions about the best ways to achieve harmony. But we need to strive. And we all have moments of wonder and harmony, and we need to see them and know that these things are possible. We need to pay attention to the other members of the choir – the birds and local wildlife around you in your neighborhoods, the snowflakes that decorate your world with lace. And perhaps pause and think, some of those flakes originated in water swept up from the ocean. Some of those drops once danced with dolphins. Some of those drops once gave a surfer an exciting ride. We are all connected -- and there's a humbling power to the Love that originated them all and continues to flow through them, even in this dark time, or particularly in the darkest of times, which is why so many religious traditions light candles in their holiday celebrations. We need the light. We need the hope. We need the Love. So we must train our eyes to see the sparks of light around us so we can pass them on.
With the power of prayer and joyous wonder, we can act to help save the sources of our amazement, including those in the ocean depths. So when you are preparing for the holidays:
· Try to steer away from disposable plastics in favor of things that last -- especially experiences which offer memories.
· Use reusable fabrics or bags or recycled papers for gifts to reduce the trash. And the same with holiday greetings – perhaps go via email.
· If seafood is your holiday treat, please check Seafoodwatch.org. The Monterey Bay Aquarium even has an app so you can take their advice to the grocery store or restaurant.
· Enjoy the beauty of the darkness by turning off all lights you don't need, and try to use LEDs in any holiday decorating --remembering too that less in art is often more.
· And if you can, try to get involved in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and take special note of the coastal birds, such as the red knots and plovers, as well as inland birds that spend some of the time at an ocean shore, such as the loons, grebes, and cormorants. If you are in northern regions, you won't get to see them now, but remember they, too, are part of marine life -- and their calls, beauty, and flights offer wonder to your life.
~Marybeth Lorbiecki, Executive Director