Daily Connector | Riding the waves | Eliz Speidel


My daughter Ella and I started coming to CMC just a few weeks before in-person services stopped so many of you do not know us. Reading the Daily Connector emails has not just been feeding my soul but also a beautiful way to get to know this community. 

I often describe how I’m doing as riding the waves. It remains true today, though the seas are choppier these days. The image is a reminder for me that no wave (or feeling or period of time) lasts forever, a reminder to use the tools I have been practicing to stay calm and present through whatever is happening and respond to the moment rather than react or freak out. There are, without question, times when the waves crash down and I am overcome with panic and thrash about, but eventually I am able to get up to the surface. Of course, remembering that in those moments of panic or despair has always been the trick. 

How I get to the surface depends. I have been writing a daily(ish) email during the week. It started for the university students I work with and has expanded to include others. It has become an incredibly valuable practice. A reminder of what I hold sacred even when I feel very far from it. And in remembering I get closer.  While how I get to the surface takes different forms, it always involves connection – to nature, to those I love, to people I do not know, to art, to the greater world. I’ve realized that connection is how I experience the divine, which I believe exists in all of us (no matter who we are, what we believe, or what we have done) and of which we are all a part. 

As Holy Week and Easter come to close, I have been thinking how our tradition, like many religious traditions, are born out of the need and desire to commemorate a transformative experience.  We are in the midst of a time that can be transformative in so many ways. People talk about wanting things to go back to the way they were. 

While I desperately want to be with and touch those I love, I do not want to go back.

The picture above is Aminah Robinson's "Prayers for the Village." My prayer for our village is for this to be a time when we are liberated from our destructive patterns, both individually and as a society. I want us to be reborn as a society that truly and deeply sees the inherent worth and dignity of each human being and treats them as such. Let us not just survive this time. Let us understand what transformation needs to happen in ourselves to make that happen. Let us begin to imagine what our world can be because as Lucille Clifton said, "We cannot create what we cannot imagine." And let us begin to create it.