A Tree Has Many Branches
When I want to really think about something I go outside and lay on the ground and look up at the sky or look up into the branches of the trees. When the sky is filled with clouds there are two ways of looking at them. One at a time or as a group. In a way, looking at a tree is the same. You can look at it as one thing, or take its parts separately and look at the different branches and see the individual beauty in each one. Coming to the point of seeing it as a whole. You can go further yet and look at just the bark on the trunk or gaze at the roots that are above ground.
This is the best way to look at my life too. When I was a child, I had to know as much as I could. I wanted to know all kinds of people and I wanted to know about different cultures and try to understand why people act differently when they come from different back grounds.
In the early 1970's I spent my teen years reading philosophy books and hanging out at Harvard Square and having deep conversations about life. I had lunch with the sari clad hare Krishna folks and tea with the ladies at the historical society. I just wanted to understand and appreciate all people. When my children were growing up we would study many cultures and that meant, learning some of the language, eating the foods, listening to the music of many countries and trying to meet people from the countries we were interested in.
Because of that, not a one of us in this family fits into just one mold. We have all become parts of what we learned.
I am not a good example of any one way of life. In my past I have studied just about every religion there is and not just casually. Deeply. I have attended Chabad to understand the complexity of orthodox Judaism and Jewish mysticism. I have taken part in Native American ceremonies, I have spent much time in the study of Buddhism. Many times I have attended Latin Mass and loved it. We attended a Mennonite church for many years. Never becoming members because of my husband was divorced. Its a no way situation if there has been a remarriage. There is no acceptance of remarriage after divorce, no matter what the reason for the divorce. But our lives have been deeply impacted by what we have learned and it has influenced how we live.
We as a family have always sought the simple life. To live without all the "junk" and "stuff" that society tells you are a must. We want to think about our relationships with other people more than with things. We appreciate that we have lost some valuable things in the name of progress. Like family time, taking things slower and feeling a personal relationship with God daily, hourly and to see His workings in our lives.
I am like the tree I guess, many parts and many aspects.