The First Thanksgiving 

I send #Thanksgiving greetings to all who share so generously of whatever they have with those who are in need. 

I believe, through personal experience, that this is one holiday that represents the true ethos and heart of what is America – a giving, sharing, celebrating, welcoming people at their core – who took this stranger into their home – yes, literally – thirty years ago, sat me (and my two graduate school roommates from India who had barely been here for eight weeks) at their family holiday table and poured so much love, affection and food(!) into us that it became the glue that cemented us to them and this country – all three of us are still here – now with families, careers and doing our small part to give back and share that same heart and ethos with others – yes, even strangers.

Thank you, Shirley and family of Blacksburg, VA. I still remember the prayer that hung on your kitchen wall that day and reflected your spirit of giving – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…”. You may have lived in small town America but your heart was as vast as the prairies on which the winds sing the songs of grace and gratitude…

I celebrate you, all of you and the spirit of thanksgiving today. May the thanks and the giving continue…

Namaste…

Kumud

Healing America… 

Sharing with all of you  my thoughts as a non-partisan voter in the US Election – this had percolated through my heartbox, in bits and pieces, one stanza at a time, over the course of the day on the eve of the election… I let it brew some more, and now, after minimal editing, choosing to ‘set it free…’ / a poem, a prayer, a call for healing… and a bit long :)// 

Beyond the sea of red, white and blue

Beyond the fields of yellow and green 

Beyond the rising rhetoric and punditry

Lies hidden a divide that has rarely been seen


Have we become more or less like the enemy?

Full of the same hate that we denounce? 

Have we become better through the process?

Or is it mere platitudes of love we pronounce?


How and when shall we ALL heal from the pain?

The die has been cast, the mold has been set; 

So much strife in the name of choices cast

How many months till their insults we forget?


And after the casting and counting Is over

One eye shall exult, the other shall bear pain; 

But who shall really win and who shall lose? 

When from divisions deep, we choose not to refrain?


For life and liberty are great gifts given

And so is our celebrated freedom to choose;

But is there any reason for us to long rejoice?  

If in the process, our pure spirit we slowly lose?! 


So let me pause; pray for the heart to prevail 

We have no choice — it must, it must!

For the sake of the republic that we truly love

Lest it shall be damaged further, beyond all trust…


And perchance among all of the silenced voices

A new rhythm and harmony, shall for sure arise; 

Where love’s paintbrush melds all the colors together

Red and blue sing as one, ‘America’ reprise!


And the white that denotes the purest purity

Will again be remembered, for what it stands; 

Peace lilies will spring among fruited plains 

We shall heal one another – and humanity gains! 

– Kumud 

#ElectionDay

Letter from a Mother

I did not promise you flowers blooming
I did not promise you sun-shiny days
I did not promise you paths straight or even
I did not promise you years of not living apart
I did not promise you that I would not leave before my time

For I could not promise you what I did not have to give
So
I did what a Mother does best…
I filled you with all the love and light that swelled within
I sang to you all the songs that my heart could sing
I wrote to you all the letters that my hands could write
I shared with you all the best of what was given to me
I raised you with all the courage that I could muster
And if I did not promise you anything more
I hope that you know
That you
Beloved
Who pauses and kneels to smells the flowers not yet bloomed
Who sees the sun shining behind the clouds gray and low
Who walks the paths whether they be twisted and slippery
Who feels my light from the universes here and beyond
Who believes that the Infinite wraps her arms around our time together
You
Yes you
Are the greatest promise that I made to the world
Thank you
For honoring the promises I could not even make
For listening to my songs and replying to my letters
And for making new today
Some promises of your own…
-Mom

 

Letter from Mother Nature

What are these magical clouds, 

That the full moon often rides; 

What is this faintly scented mist, 

That trails her flowing strides…

If dusk would pause her falling, 

She would set the blossoms alight;

The robins would stop and stare

Till the dawn of tomorrow’s twilight..

She taught me to ask questions,

So many answers I never knew;

Her fingers combing my hair, 

Shooting stars streaking in skies blue..

Mother Nature waits with patience, 

For her to arise, spring us awake;

The brave shall ask forgiveness,  

Honor her gifts, admit their mistake..

The gentle breeze blows off the lake,

Migrating geese lifted into flight;

Baby bluejays are long fast asleep,

FullMoon vies with tall pines for height..

The gift that keeps on giving,

May we pay forward with grateful hands;

Hundreds of generations we can change,

In our actions, their future stands..
-KA

#spring #fullmoon #EarthDay

Letter from the Moon

The blossoms of spring claim​, 

They reach for me high; 

With nature’s designs, 

who am I to argue? 
At dusk I rose, 

drawing attention wide

upwards the robins looked, 

as homeward they flew;
Stare not yet, 

at my vista incomplete, 

I need to work all night 

With spring’s bold hue; 
The sunset this eve, 

lingered an extra while 

Choosing colors carefully, 

To match my silver and blue;
If only I could time it right, 

to rise and set in sync, 

Embrace my lover’s light 

And my favorite orange hue;
They break out in verse 

When they see me getting full; 

I’d love to someday read 

more poetry when new…

– Letter from an almost-full moon

by Kumud Ajmani #poetry #EarthDay 

  
 

On Love, Truth and Suffering

“The object of Buddha’s meditation and his teachings was to free humanity from sufferings…”

“But what was the path that he revealed to us? Was it some negative way of evading pain and seeking security against it? ”

“On the contrary, his path was the path of sacrifice—the utmost sacrifice of love.”

“The meaning of such sacrifice is to reach some ultimate truth, some positive ideal, which in its greatness can accept suffering and transmute it into the profound peace of self-renunciation.”

“True emancipation from suffering, which is the inalienable condition of the limited life of the self, can never be attained by fleeing from it, but rather by changing its value in the realm of truth—the truth of the higher life of love.”

“Love is the positive quality of the Infinite, and love’s sacrifice accordingly does not lead to emptiness, but to fulfillment, to Bodhi-hridaya, the heart of enlightenment.”

Winter in the Parkway

Excerpts From: Rabindranath Tagore. “Creative Unity.”