What words can I possibly say regarding Ukraine, their courage, and daily deaths that would not be cliché? Sometimes I feel I’m there, hovering over the land and cities trying to protect Ukrainians, the starving, and, yes, the misinformed Russian soldiers, too, from pain and suffering.
I pray for inspirational words, but none come. I am amazed at my depth of grief. These are not intimates; however, their blood runs through mine. My maternal family was Russian, Polish, Austrian, and Czechoslovakian. Yes, I am a part of Ukraine and Russia and Poland. Their people are my sisters and brothers.
I’ve followed the teachings of Ram Dass, a spiritual leader of what was called the ‘new age,’ for more than 30 years. He passed in 2019 at the age of 86 while still sharing his great love for all and profound wisdom through his dying process. The following is taken from his last book, Walking Each Other Home, with his dear friend, Mirabai Bush. This morning I turned to the chapter on ‘grief’ for I knew I needed, and wanted, to understand my sadness, my mourning. Tom Waites’ song, Last Leaf, was dedicated to Ram Dass by Joan Baez in a concert after visiting with him just before he departed for his eternal journey. I dedicate these lyrics to the Ukrainians and Russians left on the battlefields and all who lost beloved ones and mourn. This Ukraine war will live on in our hearts. Perhaps, we will hear and even see those who are with us no more: their personal songs in the purr of a cat, the sweet kisses of a dog, the eyes of a new-born living being, and in a robin’s clear, melodic notes that are the first to greet the dawn.
May you live this day well. Send your true heart along with your prayers, always.