I’ve been thinking about power lately.
I’ve been watching the news, and reading about the events in the world around me. I’ve been wondering a bit about the many situations where the power seems so unequal. The places where one side seems to have so much more authority and power and control than the other.
For example, the US is far more powerful, economically, politically and militarily than Israel. And yet. Israel seems to have the upper hand in the relationship between them. Netanyahu speaks; Obama listens.
And I think about friends of mine who are the adults, the ones with the jobs, the people who pay the mortgage. And yet. Their tiny squalling children seem to have all the power in the relationship. They give in to ever cry, live in fear of every complaint. That is real power!
I look outside my window. Winter is a waning, fading force, yet it seems to hold complete control over our moods. That’s power.
I look out at my suet feeder, and I watch the tiny chickadees chasing away the big strong bluejays. Such assurance! Such strength! Such pure unadulterated power.
So where does this “power” come from?
I don’t know.
Maybe it comes from a sense of self-respect. I have noticed that people who respect themselves tend to have an innate sense of their own worth. That must give a person some internal power.
Or maybe it comes from an inner poise, an ability to control the sharpest and most tender of emotions. Maybe true power comes from an inner core of calm that holds a person erect and upright, even in the face of the most outrageous pressures.
I don’t know.
But I’m thinking of trees. Trees that I have watched for many years as they bend and sway in the wind. Trees that bow down low, as if they are giving in, when the worst storms come raging through. I am thinking of how I have seen those trees stand back up again, straight and tall and incredibly strong, after the latest tempest has blown itself out and died.
And I’m thinking of people in my life. People who somehow withstand the very worst that the universe can throw at them. People, young and old, who maintain that sense of self, that inner core, that poise and calm, no matter how unreasonable the pressures that assault them.
I can only offer my praise, my sense of amazement and my most pitiful attempts to lend a hand.
I don’t know where you get that power, my dear ones. I only know that I am in awe of it, and of you.