A window through which the sun may shine

"What are we holding on to, Sam?"
"That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."

Hey! Hey, you!

I need you to do something for me, okay? I promise, it's really important.

Never stop working towards that dream you have. Always strive to be the person you always wanted to be. Create the future that you've hoped would come true.

I am one who is prone to daydreaming. Sometimes it's all I can do. Today, I was trying to envision and make note of my goals for the future. I've been doing a lot of that lately. Sometimes it feels like I'm just going round, and round, and round, with no real progress, but it also feels necessary in order to find direction and decide on next steps. As I did it, and my vision became clearer, I saw a beautiful life filled with community, kindness, and justice. I had moments of wanting to write a love note about how beautiful the world can be, and how inspiring people are when we set our minds to it. I wanted to utter shining words about Mother Nature or God or the Universe, and how blessed we are to witness the existence of this world and be able to comprehend even the fraction of it that we do.

Yet, even as I was writing down these glowing words, I recalled the plethora of news items we've been receiving, about children being taken away from their parents; refugees being denied aid or kindness; cruel politicians vying for power.

This world we live in is a terrifying place. Nothing has ever been perfect, and danger and darkness lurk in the shadows, just as they always have. Every day we hear stories about bad people, and speculations about what tragedies could befall at any time. It can be easy to lose sight of the beauty in this world, when the fates are so often unfair.

In that context, it seemed incredibly insensitive to talk about how wonderful this world is when so many people are suffering. Pretty words seemed small. And it's certainly not always enough to write or to say, instead of to do. This is something I have been struggling with for a long time – I want to get better at taking tangible action in order to make life a more enjoyable and sacred thing for others besides myself.

But then, that's it, isn't it?

I'm thinking back to those goals I was making note of earlier. The ones that I was hoping would give me some clarity about my path in life, and where I should go. All of them lead back to the same idea, of wanting to be a part of something which will actively bring some of the beauty of this earth into the lives of others. Right now, I can only write about it. I only have photos to show you, ideas to talk about with you – I only have my words and my mind and my self. Someday, I hope to have more to give, something tangible.

But for now, I've decided to keep writing and sharing my enthusiasm for the natural world, and how amazing it is that the actual stars aligned just right for us to exist right here, right now.

I intend, as I hope that others will too, to let that appreciation be the inspiration by which I will create, nurture, and be a force for change in this life.

Liz Knoll