Reflections from an Early Morning Walk, by Avis Smith
What if the bright red cardinal perched on a rooftop high above, calling “Look here, look here” is begging me to wake up and be fully present in each moment of this new day?
What if his little feathered friend, responding “Pre-tee, pre-tee” is announcing that I am enough, reminding me that the compulsion to be strong enough, smart enough, accomplished enough, “pre-tty” enough to belong is a human fabrication that labels and divides.
What if the young rabbit “frozen” in the tall grass as I pass by, is a reminder to be still instead of reacting so quickly to the events of the day or worrying about a future that has not yet arrived?
What if the fox that darts across my suburban path in the early morning light, is just a fox, caring for her young kits, and not something to be feared?
What if the young couple pushing a stroller up ahead, is raising their tow-headed little one to relish each moment of life, to know she is enough, there is nothing to fear, and being vulnerable is the only way to a courageous, open heart?
What if this little one is surrounded by a thoughtful, compassionate community who boldly supports her when the messages of the world begin to tell her otherwise?
What if this community is composed of individuals who acknowledge complicity in sending messages of fear, scarcity and privilege, and tenderly hold each other accountable for course correction and healing?
What kind of world might we create?
Dear Lord, Help us know we are enough and we belong. Give us courage to be vulnerable, accountable, and forgiving as we seek you, create community and practice justice.
Avis Smith is a long-time member of SACC. She is Director of Trauma Smart, a child/adolescent trauma-prevention model at Crittenton Children’s Center. She also teaches in the social work department at KU. You can reach her at email@example.com.