asylum seekers, Commencement speech 2014 UT, incubation, Paul and Mary, Peter, shoe polish, Willunga, winter flowers
Been reflecting on how the future begins in the present, I suspect you may have mused on that thought as well. The idea sown in the dark, take holds in the light and grows towards the sky. Ideas can take a while to incubate and I am quite fond of the notion on incubation giving time and light and a bit of heat – to get an idea to germinate.
Incubate comes from latin and means to lie down on and apparently once had the sense of sleeping in a sacred place or temple for oracular purposes.
To sleep on it as an expression maybe has the same heritage?
The potential of a prophetic announcement being the result of sleeping in a sanctuary has appeal for this pilgrim. The future is made by the path we walk today and what begins in a little clearing can transform into a place with definition and clarity.
As Robert Frost says: “two roads … I took the one less travelled by …” by taking a particular road, whatever one it is, bending through the undergrowth, will reveal what is already there when we arrive.
I listened to the 2014 Commencement for University of Texas today and the Navy Seal commander shared his advice to the graduates for the future difference they may make in the future, by taking one road or another, that has the capacity to change the lives of others. I am not a fan of the military or the lessons they might want to share with us. I prefer choices to be made don’t take us down a warpath; however the basic lessons of life offered from his life of service as a warrior, do offer insights into the kind of future to which we may all aspire. The decisions we make in this moment are ones that have the capacity to bring the future into the present. Making a bed is a sign of hope that you will be back that night to sleep safely and in the warmth and comfortable knowledge you have made something worth coming home to. Joining your voice with others to sing a rousing chorus is an act of communion in times of adversity – and I have certainly been sustained by that act on many occasions. Singing along with Peter, Paul and Mary in their rendition of We Shall Overcome has medicinal properties and gives me a booster shot when nasty fear and anxiety bacteria try and infect me.
I believe little actions in the present make a difference to the future and bring the future into the present. This morning my shoes were shined by an octogenarian who believes that the casual conversation between wax, polish and elbow grease have the power to change the world. Over many years his quiet activism has also raised thousands of dollars to support asylum seekers settle in Australia. A different kind of polished shoe lesson to the one offered by the Navy Seal instruction, and one more real to me from this warrior of peace. Just as the Gum flowers in winter, the eschatology of simple acts: making a bed or polishing shoes we are at one with the past, present and yet to come.
In a world close at hand,
Held by the heart,
Incubated by a good night’s sleep,
While angels keep vigil:
Seeds sown in the dark,
Bloom in the morrow
Of the morning sun.
(c) Moira Deslandes, 2014