Sunday, October 14, 2007

Inclusion, diversity and what flowers teach us

Nature teaches us things. I'm not a pantheist and wouldn't say I worship nature, but lessons abound in it that are sometimes overlooked. I know for myself it's because many of the things I "see" in nature I'm not really seeing. I'm so used to them "being that way" that I overlook them.

Take flowers for examples. Many kinds of flowers are naturally diverse and include various colors and variations. Roses are one example, but there are many others.

Yesterday , as I was pondering inclusion and diversity, I wrote a haiku about it which I posted over on A Different Light.

Petals rose lemon yellow
Pink petals flutter
Inhale their diversity

I found myself thinking about this because I received an email from a teenager who is being teased at school about his disability. He is, in fact, the one I wrote the story "Gravity Sucks" for. My other blog, A Different Light, is full of stories and poems with disability themes that I've written either about - or for - people who email me and think they are the only ones who are going through things because of their disability. It's something I began to do years ago when I was a camp counselor. Back then I wrote songs about what the kids were going through- and found it helped them deal with issues.

Fiction and poetry have a way of presenting things in a very different light, which is why I chose that name for the blog. It's one thiing to write about a topic and yet another to create a character, a story and/or poetry about it. Sometimes the use of imagination or the ability to see someone else go through something helps switch our perspective enough that it's helpful.

After I wrote Gravity Sucks, this teenager told me that he interacted again with the kid(s) who were teasing him and found a way to befriend one of them. Yesterday he emailed me and asked if I would write a poem about how it's more natural for all of us to be together, rather than apart, even though we appear to be different.

I thought that was a really good idea for a haiku. Flowers came to mind because, to me, they have always symbolized dots of hope - perhaps on a field or in a forest - scattered there to remind us that nature is painted in glory for us to enjoy.

How much more that is true when we drop the barriers between us, get to know each other and practice inclusion among human beings!

[If you'd like to visit A Different Light, I've included a link above to one of the essays.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

flowers can really take a lot of meaning. They can represent life itself, or the beauty of such fleeting things.

or it can give light and life to inanimate objects, such as love, pain and hope. flowers are such an integral part of life that it is very much ubiquitous in our daily dealings and moments.