A morning meditation gave this glimpse of what life is really all about — I wait for the ruby-throated hummingbirds to arrive. They drink nectar from flowers and eat bugs caught midair for protein. The Wild Red Columbine blooms in time with the arrival of these hummingbirds. These two species are in a mutually beneficial relationship, tubular columbine flowers are pollinated, hummers are fed. I like to understand how God has encouraged this. God seeks nourishing relationships.
One doesn’t have to be religious to sense the connection between the flower and the bird. As the author noted they are “in a mutually beneficial relationship”. All of us are weary — tired of quarantine, of caution, of politics, of messages of hate spewed in anger. We know that racism is in us and around us. We are learning new terminology like “social distancing” and “systemic racism.” Stumbling around these new terms it is difficult to know where we fit.
The image of the flower and the hummingbird remind me of the actual simplicity of how this world operates. We are in relationship, comfortable or not, with every living creature on this earth and we are in relationship to Creation and the earth and the universe. There is no escape from this tightly woven net of how we survive.
Western society, in the days of the Renaissance and following, found a great pride in what was seen as the intellectual power of humans (particularly white and mostly male). There was a belief that all the achievements of society whirled around this select group and all “others” were meant to serve this group in some way. For centuries it was a tyranny of the rich, well-born and able. Even in this country the founding fathers had the same basic guideline that only property owning white males could vote. The 14th amendment gave the vote to freed slaves in 1868, for Native Americans, after the passage of the 1924 citizenship bill, it still took over forty years for all fifty states to allow them to vote. Women, after the passage of the 19th amendment, were allowed to vote in 1920. Each time, the establishment trembled and forecast the world was doomed.
Power resides in a relationship between the weak and the strong. To remain in power you must unite those afraid of losing their position against those seeking to achieve more power. There is an ebb and flow in history between the powerful and the powerless. Historians tell us that Germans gave power to Hitler and his followers because there was power in that group and since the end of World War I Germany wanted only to feel powerful again. The rise to power is a slippery slope.
Being in relationship with each other means we share power, trying to help each other maximize our hopes and dreams. It is easy to forget we cannot survive without these many and varied relationships. To work together it is possible to achieve a common bond in our humanity.