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Richard Crowson Commentary

Richard Crowson: Saying "Yes" To What Is

Crowson self portrait_38.jpg

It’s felt like the dead of winter around here lately - day after day of dense fog, damp air and cool temperatures. We’re not used to this kind of fog here in Kansas.

Combine the oppressive gray skies with the relentlessly bleak recent news: The tragedy of Haiti; the political quandary of a legislature that must come to terms with our financially strapped state; and locally, the sad loss of a wonderfully philanthropic community leader. Our fog seems to take on a metaphorical significance, standing for the somber circumstances that can weigh on us and point our eyes, not upward but down instead, and elicit heavy sighs.

In my own spiritual quest I still have a long way to go before I reach that place of being able to, as writer Eckhart Tolle encourages, “say yes to what is.”

But walking my dog, Ollie yesterday, I found myself beneath a favorite old cottonwood tree. It’s an occasional meditation spot where I try, with only mixed results most of the time, to quiet my mind and feel the positive flow of life.

That scarred but uncomplaining cottonwood stretched toward the dank, clinging fog just the way it stretched toward the blazing sun on other days. And one of its smaller lower limbs had a mid-winter message for me in the form of budding new growth – not yet green, still hard because there may be more snows on the way, but pointing on nevertheless. It was pointing toward the promise of a new cycle, of a softening green season to come. Pointing toward the ebb and flow of life.

Saying yes to what is.