January 29, 2021

The perception of temperature is relative. Our first fall living in Maui, we attended a football game at King Kekaulike High School in Pukalani, Maui, elevation 1,526’.  Rod and I were in shorts and slippers (a.k.a. flip flops), short sleeve tops, and light weight windbreakers since it was a misty evening.  There was a boy who looked to be in 3rd grade sitting with an adult man in the row in front of us. They were dressed in jeans, socks, sneakers, and winter jackets, and had a blanket, just in case.  The boy turned to the man, and said, “Uncle, is this winter?”

The first winter there, I was at the pool almost daily and we frequented the beach most Saturdays.  These were not crowded because it was “winter.” The local folks thought I was crazy to venture into the cold waters of the pool and ocean. In comparison to the Atlantic Ocean in mid-summer, Maui’s waters felt blissfully warm to me.

It’s an amazing human ability to adjust and adapt, but perhaps also a liability. I recall living in Hershey, PA in the late 1990’s. Traffic was stopped as scores of congress members escorted by State Police made their way to the Hershey Conference and Convention Center for the first of two bipartisan retreats with a focus on civility. There was a need for civility and bipartisanship then, and people in leadership took the initiative to make things better.

I’ve adapted and adjusted to things the way they are, like I’ve adjusted to the temperature in Northern Virginia. That memory of sitting in traffic, waiting on a bipartisan group of legislators to pass by on their way to a retreat to focus on civility, feels almost like a dream. 

Maybe we can all dream – and act – to make it a reality for all.

“Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts; for as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” (Colossians 3:15) ~ Anne

These meditations are provided as a ministry in this time of pandemic as a ministry of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

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