How do we reconcile Spring when the world is burning?


Spring is synonymous with hope, resurrection, and awakening. Sunlight and warmth bring smiles, memories of longer days, and warmer nights.

With barely a sigh of hesitant relief that the covid pandemic slid to the unmasking of people in many places, another disaster arose.

How do we reconcile this budding joy when the world is burning? When bombs fall on pregnant mothers and the innocent?

How do we see hope on the muddy snow-trodden road filled with humanity carrying their world in a suitcase, a stroller, or backpack?

Few people can translate what they feel into poetry, art, and the written word. I think this Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk gives us an understanding. She lost her home in Donbas to Russian occupation in 2014 and fled to Kyiv, which Russians have sought to destroy.

Language is as beautiful as this world. So when someone destroys your world, language reflects that.”

Lyuba Yakimchuk


Our Father, who art in heaven
of the full moon
and the hollow sun

shield from death my parents
whose house stands in the line of fire 
and who won’t abandon it
like a tomb

shield my husband
on the other side of the war 
as if on the other side of a river
pointing his gun at a breast
he used to kiss

I carry on me this bulletproof vest
and cannot take it off
it clings to me like a skin

I carry inside me his child
and cannot force it out
for he owns my body through it

I carry within me a Motherland
and cannot puke it out
for it circulates like blood 
through my heart 

our daily bread give to the hungry
and let them stop devouring one another

our light give to the deceived
and let them gain clarity 

and forgive us our destroyed cities 
even though we do not forgive for them our enemies

shield from me 
my husband, my parents
my child and my Motherland

and lead us not into temptation
to go down with this rotting world 
but deliver us from evil 
to get rid of the burden of a Motherland – 
heavy and hardly useful

Translated by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Pexels.com

The blossoming of the days ahead seems incredibly difficult and we breathe and pray for an end to this madness.

I hope a loosening of the chest begins and our breathing relaxes although all is not good with the world. But breathe hope anyway and step forward to find a way to joy. Leave behind the thoughts of fear and replace them with the thoughts of love and hope.

Seek out the crocus in the snow, the yellow of daffodils, and the budding roses. Notice when the grey sky lightens to shades of blue and the rays of sun stream through leafing trees and birds twitter and children sing.

 Staying alive is what gives you a chance to shape the future.”

Lyuba Yakimchuk
Hope, Loss

Can We Move Towards Hope and Peace with a Hug?

quote by M. Gandhi

Like many others, I’m trying to understand what’s going on in our nation.

As a person who has been on both sides of the thin blue line (stopped over 50 times in my youth and a 30-year career in  criminal justice) it’s not difficult to understand how wounds fester and people get frustrated and beyond.

But to sniper kill police officers during a peaceful demonstration can never be the answer to an already wounded community and nation.  

To empathize with police officers and other law enforcement doesn’t mean we don’t empathize with peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.

To take a stand for one doesn’t mean you can’t take a stand for the other. One can be “pro cop” and “pro black lives matter.” It doesn’t have to be “either/or.”

One part of me understands the frustrations, the other part is sickened; the whole of me feels that the fear and worry will separate us more, but it is at this precise moment that we have to create hope.

I want to share this video which shone a light on an otherwise sorrowful week. This occurred after an interfaith prayer service in Dallas on July 8th. This YouTube video is from the Free Hugs Project.



We have to address systemic racism.

We have to find a way to work towards community and peace.

I don’t have the answer on “How” to do this but I know it can be done and it starts with individuals.

It won’t be easy but it will be worth stepping towards hope.