Every other week I meet with a group of 8—10 women and men. We are all working in various nonprofits focused on serving others. We gather for 90 minutes to reflect together what our work is teaching us and what we might wish to learn. This trust circle includes quite a mix: a woman who coaches 4 adults who have cerebral palsy, another is a man who nurses a 97 year-old woman and who worries a lot about his family in India. Yet another is a retired physician doing infant and toddler medical check-ups, another reads to refugee toddlers who do not know English.
Recently we were reflecting on a poem of Mary Oliver’s “At the Pond”. The last stanzas read so powerfully:
“And this is what I think
everything is about:
I was glad
for those five and two
that flew away,
And the way I hold in my heart the wingless one
that had to stay.
Slowly and gently as we let these words seep into us we each began to ponder the ministry parts of us where we are glad and the wingless that we hold in our hearts.
Who are we glad about? Which wingless do we hold? And is this’ what Everything is about’?
K.C. Young, OP