WHAT WE NEED IS HERE: Making the most of a new world

I belong to a group, based at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, that is called “What We Need Is Here.” The title comes form the following poem by Wendell Barry.

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

The group’s mission is to use the Arts to spark creative thought and action about how to build sustainable communities.
As I walked the White Pathway last evening, touched to the core of my being by the beauty, peace, and gentleness of this extraordinary piece of nature that anchors our community, I thought about the previous day’s election and how it will affect us. Such divisiveness and anger, so much the opposite of peace. And yet, we will have to find our way, as the geese in the poem, to the clear understanding that if we cannot trust and rely on each other in these coming years of worldwide challenges, we will stand with empty hands. We will have nothing.
What we need is here: the resources to feed and shelter ourselves; the intellect and courage to weather the coming changes; the strength of character to hold out a helping hand to each other.
We obviously cannot look to our government for policies and legislation to carry us through. Focusing on what we have in common rather than on our differences is our best chance for survival.
What we (truly) need is (already) here. So let’s get started.